Bach of IOC rebuked for returning to watch the Tokyo Paralympics by Shigeru Omi

Bach of IOC rebuked for returning to watch the Tokyo Paralympics by Shigeru Omi

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Shigeru Omi, the chief medical adviser to the Japanese government concerning Covid-19, hit out at the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This concerns President Thomas Bach of the IOC returning to Japan once more – despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

In fairness to Bach, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike equally appear aloof about the concerns of ordinary people. Hence, the words expressed by Omi – and other health care specialists – are a rare reminder that sanity does exist even if Suga and Koike ignore his hindsight.

It is galling that Suga (nationally) and Koike (Tokyo) keep on requesting people to do telework and refrain from going out, if possible; then witness Bach enjoying the delights of exclusive hotels and the splendor of Ginza in Tokyo. After all, vast numbers of people in Japan have missed out on seasonal occasions concerning Golden Week, New Years Day, Obon, and other important dates in the national calendar. However, like a bad habit, Bach is back to enjoy the Paralympics despite only recently leaving Tokyo after the Olympics had finished.

Omi said about Bach’s second visit to Tokyo, “I wonder why he bothered to come. He should be able to judge with common sense.” 

Omi also notified the Suga administration that the government is more optimistic than senior medical advisers about the ongoing coronavirus crisis. He said, “I think the pressure on health care and the number of infected people will for now continue to be quite a serious situation.”

He continued, “Perhaps the analysis of the situation (by the government) was at times somewhat more optimistic than the analysis among us experts.”

Suga and Koike can’t understand ordinary people and the economic and psychological convulsions of the coronavirus crisis. However, Omi thinks about the bigger coronavirus picture and the changed perceptions generated by the Olympics. Hence, Omi understands the frustrations of the general public, unlike Suga and Koike who put the onus on ordinary people.

A few weeks ago, Omi uttered, “I don’t think that the infections (of people involved in the games) under the ‘bubble system’ are directly related to the rapid spread of infections at all. But I think that the fact that the Olympics are being held has had an impact on people’s awareness.”

On another occasion, Omi said, “The biggest risk is the lack of a sense of crisis, and without it, the infections will further expand and put medical systems under severe strain.”

He warned before the Olympics that a spike in coronavirus infections would emerge. This duly happened. Yet it mattered not one jot to the IOC, Suga, and Koike. Indeed, Koike wants vast numbers of school children to attend the Paralympics – despite asking people to do telework and knowing that 63 percent of people seeking coronavirus hospital treatment were turned away because of bed shortages in Tokyo.

Modern Tokyo Times recently reported, “Hence, while Suga was congratulating Japanese gold medalists – and he and Koike were congratulating themselves about the “smooth Olympics,” uttered by Koike – the coronavirus crisis was engulfing the medical health care system in Tokyo. The same strain on the medical system naturally occurred in the neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama. This is also happening in other prefectures throughout the country because of recent new daily infection highs.”

Thus, with Bach returning to Tokyo once more – and Koike seeking vast numbers of children to view the Paralympics at various venues – the “refrain from going out and do telework if possible” mantra expressed by Suga and Koike is exasperating.

Concerning the second visit of Bach, Omi said, “He has already come here. Hasn’t he already gone to Ginza? That’s what I think as an ordinary person, not necessarily as a member of the expert committee.”

The health care system is under enormous strain in various parts of the country – including Tokyo. Hence, the number of emergency coronavirus cases nationally is at a new high. However, the Paralympics have just started after the completion of the Olympics.

Priority? Priority? And another visit by Bach! – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo. – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis – Japan regional coronavirus statistics World coronavirus statistics


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