The COVID-19 pandemic trajectory is still unclear as there is no vaccine or cure available as of now. Separate measures are being taken in different countries, and even their states and cities, as the cases and severity vary. A global game like the Olympics was postponed from July 2020 in fear of coronavirus. But the vice president of the IOC, John Coates, announced on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 will undoubtedly happen in 2021, and will be remembered in history as the “Games that conquered Covid.”
Starting July 23, 2021, the Tokyo Olympic Games will have a theme revolving around reconstruction, remembering the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that destroyed northeastern Japan. Seeing the COVID-19 pandemic, Coates said that the theme is even more resonating. He said, “Now very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel.” The games are scheduled to run until August 8, 2021, exactly a year after the 2020 games were supposed to start. The Paralympics will span from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
Limited spectators and other guidelines
There has not been much discussion around now the IOC is planning to conduct the games. But there are some provisions that they are following. The Tokyo 2020 chief executive Muto has said that they are considering a limited space for spectators. They are also reducing the number of staff and delegations as much as possible. Further simplification of the opening and closing ceremonies can improve safety, but there are no plans to cut short the events or athletes. He added, “If we’re able to succeed, Tokyo 2020 will leave a legacy as the first major international event held after the pandemic. It will be a new chapter of the Olympics and will be remembered as the first Olympics held during the coronavirus crisis. That’s our strong wish.”
The failing economy of Japan
The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga addressed the country’s failing economy in the wake of Coronavirus. As all activities shut across the country for months at a stretch, the economy has faced severe repercussions. Keeping the approaching Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 in mind, Suga said that he is hopeful about the games, despite the challenges posed due to the coronavirus. The games will give a healthy boost to the travel industry and the economy of the country. He is envisioning several benefits from the games in these difficult times.
Conclusion by The Policy Times
- Different countries have different travel rules right now, and the announcements are still unclear about any particular travel provisions.
- Health experts are constantly expressing their doubts over the feasibility of the games in the absence of a vaccine.
- There is a need to make a safe environment where the athletes feel comfortable to play, therefore, intense testing and the presence of a robust medical team is required.
- Japan has still restricted the entry of more than 130 countries, so it will be interesting to see how the events unfold.