Public/Global Health

Venue medical operators call for spectator ban at Olympics

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The Olympic rings are illuminated for the first time to mark 6 months to go to the Olympic games at Odaiba Marine Park on Jan. 24, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

Venue medical operators are calling for spectators to banned from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, citing COVID-19 health issues, Reuters reported on Sunday.  

The medical officer for the weightlifting venue, Shoji Yokobori, said that he is concerned about fans attending the Games.

“The ‘no spectator’ scenario is better than other options. We may still have a severe pandemic this summer,” Yokobori told Reuters. “I’m the commander of the venue. The number of people in the audience is my biggest concern. I’m hoping there won’t be so many spectators.”

Yokobori, who is the department chair of emergency and critical care medicine at the Nippon Medical School Hospital, also said that he has only received “rough” information from Olympic organizers during monthly conference calls. 

“We don’t have much information on how many spectators and how many athletes will be there. That’s why we can’t imagine what it will look like,” Yokobori added. 

Many venue medical officers have quit their jobs in recent months, saying “they are too busy” with their existing workloads, Reuters noted. 


Japanese medical experts recently sent a letter to the country’s government and Olympic officials saying that having no spectators during the event would be the safest option.  

Olympic officials are expected to vote on Monday on whether or not to allow local fans to attend the Games, which are scheduled to begin on July 23.

Tags Japan Tokyo Tokyo Olympics 2020
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