Tokyo Olympics: Highest severe daily Covid-19 cases reported in Japan
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start on July 23 despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. Internally, countless polls highlight the unpopularity of holding the Olympics and Paralympics this year. Despite this, and with Japan reporting the highest daily number of severe coronavirus cases on May 2, the political elites seem to exist in their limited bubble.
Hence while Osaka – and other parts of Japan – face serious health care shortages, the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike still seek health care workers for the Olympics and Paralympics. This is despite Suga and Koike knowing that at least 12 people have died at home in the last few months from coronavirus in Osaka while waiting for hospital treatment.
Thus with less than 12 weeks to go before the start of the Olympics, Japan announced the highest number of severe coronavirus cases totaling 1,050 people. Yet, astonishingly, Suga, Koike, and the International Olympic Committee are ignoring the internal and external coronavirus crisis. Therefore, the majority of people in Japan seek either the postponement of the Olympics and Paralympics – or the complete cancellation – concerning increasing deaths and new variants that are creating fresh havoc in countless nations.
Aichi faces a shortage of nursing staff because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis similar to Osaka. Hence, the prefectural federation of trade unions (Aichiken Iroren) that represents medical and care workers in Aichi was scathing about requests to help the Olympics.
The Iroren Secretary-General, Susumu Morita, said, “I feel strong anger at the persistence to hold the Olympics, even if that means sacrificing the lives and health of patients and nurses.”
Ordinary people in Japan face an endless psychological struggle concerning the longevity of the coronavirus. Thus, with the vaccine program being very slow in Japan and more deaths in the first months of 2021 than the whole of 2020, it seems that Suga and Koike are ignoring the reality on the ground. Therefore, while people are worried about the menace of coronavirus, new variants that are more contagious, and economic convulsions: it appears that Suga and Koike are fixated on holding the games at any cost despite public opinion being in the opposite direction.
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