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Health experts warn of Olympic COVID-19 threat; prefer no spectators

42 Comments
By Sakura Murakami, Rocky Swift and Linda Sieg

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© Thomson Reuters 2021.

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42 Comments
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We prefer no Olympics! Get that through your thick skulls, “experts”!

33 ( +37 / -4 )

The JOC rats will just decrease the amount of spectators allowed to a “safe” level.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Omi, a former World Health Organization official has become increasing outspoken about the risks the event may spread the virus.

OMiGot!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

By now it should be clear that the government is not going to listen to health based recommendations, the games will not be cancelled no matter what happens with the pandemic and if they can get away with it they will get as many spectators as possible so some people can make a lot of money.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

" ....... without spectators is the least risky option and we think desirable."

Friendly and politely spoken. I would've used a more direct language!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

So if we "reduce" the number of spectators to 10,000 per event, let's just pause to consider...

How are those 10,000 people going to travel to the venues to make sure they arrive on time?

They will all pile into trains, pass through the station closest to the venue at roughly the same time, and all squeeze into the trains at the same time on their way home.

That's if they're good, rule-obeying citizens.

But given they are a) Olympic fans and b) will have just experienced as close to their dream as they're going to get, and c) will be thirsty after spending hours in the merciless July sun...

What are the odds more than a few might not be able to spot a couple of bars going under the radar and enjoy a few drinks, you know, like humans do?

If Shibuya dance clubs were open until 4am last Monday (which I know for a fact they were), what bar-owner is going to turn away 10,000 thirsty fans?

This is going to be carnage.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Sounds like the establishment are getting frustrated that more and more plebs are getting tired of the fear mongering, don't want a bar of the jab if they can avoid it, and want to get their normal lives back.

So what do they do? Why, throw out some threat that no spectators will be allowed at the Olympics. This might only be a threat to people who wanted the Games to go head anyway, which seems to be a majority.

Japan's public remains concerned about the risks. A survey by NHK public TV this month showed 32% favored a cap on spectators, 29% wanted no spectators and 31% wanted the Games to be cancelled.

Caution is advised around anything to do with NHK. Their nightly news is simply an exercise in fear mongering and an ad for vaccines. Never once in their interviews with hand-picked experts or obviously curated comments from "random" people on the street does anyone show clear skepticism toward the preferred government line. Glad I don't pay for it.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

This might only be a threat to people who wanted the Games to go head anyway, which seems to be a minority now.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Dr. Omi is credited with the eradication of polio in the 37 countries.

Professor Nishiura proved that reducing person to person contact could prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Why doesn't the government pay attention to these two heroic people?

26 ( +27 / -1 )

prefer no spectators

That's my preference, too. It's also a likely and viable scenario, the last defense line into which the IOC/Tokyo would be able to withdraw or compromise in order to keep the Games going.

And further accelerate the rollout. That's what the Japanese government/host Tokyo should do right now for its people.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

None of the COVID policy guidelines are based on hard science. So arbitrary.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Where are all these trouble-making, conspiracy theorist, fear-mongers coming from???

/s

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

So if that’s the case, cancel the damn games! The majority of people won’t watch them anyway? If you feel it helps inflate your egos and nothing more or you got your palms greased, I get it, bit if you know the dangers, just cancel the games, peoples lives or the games, which is more important? Wait....I think I know the answer.....

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Health experts warn of Olympic COVID-19 threat; prefer no spectators....and as expected Suga govt doesn't give a damn, gives everyone te proverbial finger and says it will allow 10 thousand fans per event. LDP cronies need to make money, public can pick up the cost of staging this debacle. LDP at its finest.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Copa America, 66 Covid cases.

only 10 teams

olympics ?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

these "olympics" are fail.

epic fail.

who will take responsibility abt new deaths?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

They should be more proactive. One in six people who die are health workers...that’s them!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“Health experts warn of Olympic COVID-19 threat; prefer no spectators”

Japanese government sticks fingers in ears; chants “la la la I can’t hear you”.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It's all about the money...always has been

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Derek Grebe

So if we "reduce" the number of spectators to 10,000 per event, let's just pause to consider...

How are those 10,000 people going to travel to the venues to make sure they arrive on time?

They will all pile into trains, pass through the station closest to the venue at roughly the same time, and all squeeze into the trains at the same time on their way home.

And many Olympic venues have a maximum capacity even lower than that 10,000 spectators (e.g. Makuhari Messe max 10,000 people, Tatsumi Water Polo Centre max 4,700 people, Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium max 7,000 people...), so going with that rule, many places will still be packed to the brim. I don't think the number of people alone is a factor, but how densely each venue is packed, and if social distances can be kept or not. I'd support something like max 1/3 of the maximum capacity, ensuring people are not allowed to sit next to each other, unless from the same family/troupe (i.e. living together). There should be at least 2 empty seats between people, and empty seats also in front of and behind each troupe.

If Shibuya dance clubs were open until 4am last Monday (which I know for a fact they were), what bar-owner is going to turn away 10,000 thirsty fans?

Oh yes, clubs are and have been operating pretty much normally this whole time. Many of them are also completely ignoring any covid precautions, with some organisers openly flaunting their 'rebellious behaviour against any rules ', like it would be a heroic act or something.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Omi's experts agreed that the number of spectators at domestic events could be raised to 10,000, but only in areas where "quasi-emergency" measures, including limiting restaurant hours, have been lifted.

Doesn't sound so sure of himself. So which is it?

And many Olympic venues have a maximum capacity even lower than that 10,000 spectators (e.g. Makuhari Messe max 10,000 people, Tatsumi Water Polo Centre max 4,700 people, Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium max 7,000 people...), so going with that rule, many places will still be packed to the brim. 

The idea is to have 10,000 or half capacity, whichever is smaller. So they wouldn't be "packed to the brim".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

worries about another surge in COVID-19 infections and strong public opposition, although organizers have banned spectators from overseas

Those pesky foreigners brining their vaccinated and Covid free bodies into Japan to contract the local variant? How dare they!?!?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Why do we still have this joke called the Olympics?

Lest face it, the last Olympics 10 countries took home over half the medals all rich and powerful countries the majority of the rest were taken home by the other 10 rich countries!

The remaining 176 countries are lucky if they get anything!

It has become the games of the rich countries with more money to spend on elite athletes supported by their governments and corporate sponsors using the best equipment, training and drugs money can buy.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Good luck speaking to a rock

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Seiko Hashimoto, is an expert at exactly what? Speed skating. Bike racing? She has absolutely no background in healthcare. Let alone virology or immunology. 

The purposeful misrepresentation of statistics is illuminating. 80% are against the Olympics being held in July. That's 80% opposed not 31%, slicing & dicing it to reduce the effective percentage is an attempt to shift to a false narrative.

The ignorance in failing to heed the warnings of the medical establishment and others in the healthcare field shows a complete disregard for reality.

The risks are clear. The science determines it is foolish to hold the Olympics. Actual circumstances throughout the globe fully illustrate the folly of ignoring the current and very ongoing pandemic.

The politicians who endorse the games are concerned about profits to the entities that hold power over those officials aka the status quo, who represent the elite and privileged. Who serve not the people, but corporate interests and their own selfish ambition.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

therougou

"And many Olympic venues have a maximum capacity even lower than that 10,000 spectators (e.g. Makuhari Messe max 10,000 people, Tatsumi Water Polo Centre max 4,700 people, Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium max 7,000 people...), so going with that rule, many places will still be packed to the brim. "

--

The idea is to have 10,000 or half capacity, whichever is smaller. So they wouldn't be "packed to the brim".

Well, I hope so, but the recent news concerning this, including this JT article ("The report, led by top health adviser Shigeru Omi, was released after Tokyo 2020's organizing committee chief told the Sankei newspaper she wanted to allow up to 10,000 spectators at stadiums for the global sport extravaganza, which kicks off on July 23. ") only mention the 10,000 spectator cap, and nothing of half capacity. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One this I learned in Japan is that NOTHING CHANGES without an act of GOD.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry : THING

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The IOC and Japanese government cronies do not care one bit. They have all been vaccinated for months.

They do not care that they will be fully responsible for the deaths of countless Japanese citizens, and for the spread of a possible nuclear variant these pathetic games may produce.

¥¥¥ $$$.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Hi all, I find this all fairly confusing given the following details:

The olympics: about 70k mostly vaccinated people coming into Japan under strict protocols with daily testing + a couple thousand masked and socially distanced spectators in well-ventilated venues per event

Daily number of people commuting to and from Tokyo in crowded trains: at least several million (some resources state 10 million daily for the entire greater Tokyo area). That's over 100 times the total number of Olympic-affiliated people, per day.

So why are people so upset about the olympics, which is a relatively small event, but not about the fact that millions of people travel around Tokyo every single day? I appreciate all your kind and considerate replies to help me understand this odd choice of priorities.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The thing with the olympics is, no matter how good their preparation is, how tight their security is, its impossible for them to prevent any infection due to the olympics, base on what happened in other countries, eg Australia, N Zealand, Taiwan etc etc. Even if they are very successful, resulted in just one case, if that case results in a death, that is someone's parents, son/daughter etc. For them its not a matter, they don't really care about people getting infected/dead, just as long as, the number do not become so high that it become a sandal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

N O Olympics would be best !!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If the Olympic Games go on it will be the Olympic Committees Gain leaving Japan with Pain and debt. If the Japanese people support the games they might as well get ready to accept higher taxes and losses.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Olympics not welcome.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Copa America, 66 Covid cases.

only 10 teams

olympics ?

Well we know because they were forthcoming, question is will

Tokyo be forthcoming ? I know the answer.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There's no infections if you don't release the numbers.

We all know that Japan is famous for hiding info and controlling the press.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I heard that you can only get Covid in a venue with 10,001 people and you can get Covid from having dinner with foreigners if they’re not Olympic athletes or media!

Let’s feel safe!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

So, if they allow half capacity or 10,000- whichever it is- what I want to know is, what is their plan for when an outbreak occurs with the fans? Will that effect spectators for other events at other venues? Or will that only affect events at that venue? Or will it not have any effect at all? Will they just wipe everything down, say shikata ga nai, and get ready for the next 10,000 spectators?

Also, will they require spectators to download all these tracking apps for 12 days, like they do with the media, athletes, coaches, and other people at the event? Will they actually do some contact and exposure tracing for the fans too?

Would spectators be required to submit negative PCR tests or vaccine cards before?

Where are any/all of the details!?

I mean, this idea has so many holes in it, might as well be a net.

I wish the Japanese press would ask some hardhitting questions, instead of just nodding and writing everything down, and just looking for their headlines.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"I would like it to be held with spectators. I plan to head into the five-way meeting with that in mind," the Sankei newspaper quoted Tokyo 2020 head Seiko Hashimoto as saying.

Well of course you would, because no spectators means another $800m bailout for the "cursed games" from Tokyo tax money. And there are elections looming in the autumn....

https://nypost.com/2021/06/16/tokyo-olympics-will-need-800m-bailout-if-fans-cant-attend/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Beto RamirezJune 18  04:11 pm JST

We prefer no Olympics! Get that through your thick skulls, “experts”!

'Prefer not to have spectators'? Well Bartleby, we prefer not to have the Olympics until next year!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OUT with the Olympics!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I still vote 100% vaccinated people only to enter Japan to attend the Olympics be it a participant, relative or media.

they still have time to get vaccinated quick! Time is running out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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