Dr Hiroki Saito talks with his colleagues inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward at St Marianna University Yokohama Seibu Hospital where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease are being treated, on May 25. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato
tokyo 2020 olympics

Beset by coronavirus wave, doctors lead push against Olympics

42 Comments
By Antoni Slodkowski and Ju-min Park

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It's difficult to achieve zero cases when the infection is spreading around in different communities. In that sense, having a large-scale event would pose an inevitable risk," Saito said.

Well said. Now to pull the wool from Suga's eyes to get him to see this!

24 ( +25 / -1 )

When a government repeatedly ignores their doctors’s advise... something is very wrong.

The start of the end of LDP era?

31 ( +32 / -1 )

It's only recently the docs have voiced their opposition, they should have said that from the start when their silence was deafening

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

The land where paper money is worshipped more than its people - truly disgusting.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

"DOCTORS AND NURSES LEAD PUSH AGAINST OLYMPICS!!"

Very attention-grabbing headline.

Makes you sit up. "My gosh, this must be VERY serious!"

Read through a lot of propaganda and "might" "could" "fear" "perhaps" and other useless buzzwords to find....

2 names.

2 names that went on record as saying they didn't want the Olympics,

Two names.

-26 ( +4 / -30 )

79,000 people are flying into Japan due to Olympics. That is an influx of miniscule proportion compared to the population of 120 million. Approx. 0.06%.

The doctors should be more worried about the average Japanese who does not seem to care about going out and about that this 0.06 % of people whose every step would be tightly controlled with a pcr test every day or so....

People, don't panic about the event. You should stay focused on your own activities that contribute to the spread of the virus.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

"may have to treat sick athletes at the expense of the residents if the bed situation becomes tight."

There needs to be a clearly defined and strictly enforced policy on this. No preferential treatment for athletes or anyone else here for the Olympics. They can get in line like everyone else! Better yet, they should be flown back to their home countries for treatment, at the IOC's expense.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

They are not treating patients anyway. why do i read alot of hospitals here are inhumane turning away covid patients and making the ambulance drivers drive around for hours begging.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Suga- listen to the doctors and other front line personnel you incompetent useless PM! Its not only our lives you are playing with, but those frontliners as well.

You don't have the right to sacrifice your constituents' lives to make money

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Dairi said he worried that as a city-run institution, the hospital may have to treat sick athletes at the expense of the residents if the bed situation becomes tight. The hospital has about 160 beds designated for COVID-19 patients across six wards.

If ANY resident of Japan, is refused a bed in a hospital, because of the Olympics, ALL those on the committee bear responsibility, along with the Japanese government!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

2 names that went on record as saying they didn't want the Olympics,

Two names.

You may want to read more carefully, there are references from open letters from other medical organizations for example, that means much more than just 2 names are against the games.

The government is wrong by ignoring the opinions of the experts, but even worse is people willingly siding with the politicians against the doctors and experts. One of the sides is the archetype os people you can never trust, and the other is the people that take care of saving your life. Trusting politicians even when nobody thinks that what they are saying is wrong is still something to consider carefully.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

saying the event would put the public at risk and further strain the healthcare system

I fail to see how. Most of the athletes and staff will be vaccinated and those that aren’t will be regularly tested. The only real danger to Japan is the Japanese spectators.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

bob

2 names that went on record as saying they didn't want the Olympics,

Actually 6,000:

The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association representing about 6,000 primary care doctors said hospitals in the Games host city "have their hands full and have almost no spare capacity" amid a surge in infections.

"We strongly request that the authorities convince the IOC (International Olympic Committee) that holding the Olympics is difficult and obtain its decision to cancel the Games," the association said in a May 14 open letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga which was posted to its website on Monday.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

It would be great if this was a swift blow to Suga's strawberries, but he will just seek a second opinion from his own hand-picked experts.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

At some point all those who are in charge of this disaster in the making will be held accountable and or even prosecuted.

It's gonna take sometime but I think the Japanese public will go after them in the next election and or in courts.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

saying the event would put the public at risk and further strain the healthcare system

I fail to see how. Most of the athletes and staff will be vaccinated and those that aren’t will be regularly tested. The only real danger to Japan is the Japanese spectators

Apparently from multiple articles I have read stated that "vaccinated people could potentially still become infected and spread the virus to others".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tldr.

So is there actually a push?

I hope they make a petition with health practitioners as signatories.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Morons ignoring the advice of scientific and medical experts is how we got into this situation.

Cancel the Hunger Games.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I fail to see how. Most of the athletes and staff will be vaccinated and those that aren’t will be regularly tested. The only real danger to Japan is the Japanese spectators.

This is how. NEJM is probably the most prestigious medical journal in the world:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2108567?query=featured_home

5 ( +5 / -0 )

holding you accountable -

"...Well said. Now to pull the wool from Suga's eyes to get him to see this!..."

Agree entirely with the sentiments.

But imo there's no wool over Suga's eyes. He knows only too well what's going on, including the debacle of the inadequate medical support.

He's playing to the tune of all the ve$ted interests who cannot be seen to :

1) accept they made a mistake in judgement

2) bow to the calls of lower beings.

Suga's seeing perfectly clearly for the benefit of his narrow realm. Hopefully the citizens of Japan realize this and act accordingly come election time.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My Mrs works in a convos full ICU ward and she is wearing a lot more protective gear than they are in the photo! Looks extremely under protected. They don’t even look like N95 masks!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They don’t even look like N95 masks!

Likely they are vaccinated. Very little danger to them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In that sense, having a large-scale event would pose an inevitable risk," Saito said. Well said. Now to pull the wool from Suga's eyes to get him to see this!"

Oh dont worry, Suga sees the reality very well, he just choses to put money for the LDP cronies and their companies ahead of public health, despicable excuse for a PM he is.

Very attention-grabbing headline.Read through a lot of propaganda and "might" "could" "fear" "perhaps" and other useless buzzwords to find....2 names. ...2 names that went on record as saying they didn't want the Olympics,"

What utter nonsense , 80% of Japanese public opposes the games...( including unions representing medical workers ) ..do you want names for every one of those people?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Suga ...hey this is insane...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

On Wednesday, the official partner of the event, the Asahi Shimbun daily, published an editorial calling for the Olympics to be cancelled.

all Japanese I know, don’t know about this article.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I would challenge Suga to leave his ivory tower for a day and visit hospitals to talk to doctors and nurses, as well as families of those who lost loved ones, and then grow a spine and do the right thing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is how. NEJM is probably the most prestigious medical journal in the world:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2108567?query=featured_home

Thanks for the link. That "prestigious" paper does recommend special precautions, but it does seem to be for the Olympics:

But the Olympic Games are one of the few events that could connect us at a time of global disconnect. The Olympic spirit is unparalleled in its power to inspire and mobilize. We rally around the torch because we recognize the value of the things that connect us over the value of the things that separate us.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The sad thing is that everything the LDP did to the people of Japan in the last 16 months will be forgotten if just a few Japanese athlets manage to get some gold medals. The LDP will of course become reelected then.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My usual clinics i go to all have a post on there website. We are not accepting outpatients or will not treat flu, cold or fever symptoms because of Emergency covid blahblah. Yup these chicken doctors are afraid!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bob and Jax, and all others who support the Olympics,

Please do come over to Tokyo, Japan to live here and actively volunteer for the Olympics, and Paralympics. Heard they are running short of volunteers.. I'm sure if you prop yourself up as a supporter, the organizers will definitely give you a chance....

Wait.. and you will also get to sign the 'virus liability waiver'

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Thanks for the link. That "prestigious" paper does recommend special precautions, but it does seem to be for the Olympics:

No, one thing is to recognize an event have a positive value, another very different is to be "for" it, specially if the costs and risks are not justified. Specially because the problems that they list (repeated and continuous state of emergency measures and lack of vaccination of the general population) are not something that seem to be able to be solved by the time the games are planned.

The point is not to justify that the games should be cancelled because they are 100% worthless, but because the situation in Japan makes the costs easily surpass the benefits. This is a much more rational conclusion.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

One and a half years of this situation and the hospitals are under strain. Makes you wonder where your tax is being spent.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JaxToday  07:31 am JST

79,000 people are flying into Japan due to Olympics. That is an influx of miniscule proportion compared to the population of 120 million. Approx. 0.06%.

The doctors should be more worried about the average Japanese who does not seem to care about going out and about that this 0.06 % of people whose every step would be tightly controlled with a pcr test every day or so....

People, don't panic about the event. You should stay focused on your own activities that contribute to the spread of the virus.

This comment got a lot of negative votes, but it's not that far from the truth.

The key point is, people here do need to worry about what they do. The virus is spreading right now, with no input from the Olympics.

I was in Yoyogi park the other night and there were large groups of joggers running in very close proximity to each other rather than spacing out, with no masks breathing all over each other. No idea why they insist on running like that at any time, but definitely not in these times.

Also, those coming over will likely be the only group of people in Tokyo fully vaccinated!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Raw Beer

You picked the only part you wanted.

The New England journal of medicine:

We believe the IOC’s determination to proceed with the Olympic Games is not informed by the best scientific evidence. 

The playbooks maintain that athletes participate at their own risk, while failing both to distinguish the various levels of risk faced by athletes and to recognize the limitations of measures such as temperature screenings and face coverings.

the IOC has not heeded lessons from other large sporting events. 

The IOC’s playbooks are not built on scientifically rigorous risk assessment

And a lot more!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If IOC and Japan Olympic Committee divert all investment and effort to help vaccination and enhance the medical care for all Japanese. Your effort and kindness will be appreciated for LIFE. The WORLD will forever remember these sacrifices and Olympics Spirits will live on. But pushing on the Olympic2021 now against the wishes of 80% Japanese and life, what will it bring? Hatred and rejections are already on the line. If COVID-19 became a super spreader and death emerge, are all members of IOC and the Japan Olympic Committee willing to pay A LIFE for A LIFE???

To ALL Athletics - LIFES are worthless compare to your MEDALS, VICTORIES AND HONOUR?

The mission of Olympic Spirit is "to build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play - Olympic Spirit strives to inspire and motivate the youth of the world to be the best they can be through educational and entertaining interactive challenges. Olympic Spirit seeks to instill and develop the values and ideals of Olympism in those who visit and to promote tolerance and understanding in these increasingly troubled times in which we live, to make our world a more peaceful place."

ARE THERE SOLIDARITY, PEACE DURING A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN JAPAN FOR THE JAPANESE NOW???

3 ( +3 / -0 )

the Olympics should only go ahead if 82.5% of Tokyo residents are vaccinated.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bob

2 names that went on record as saying they didn't want the Olympics,

actually 6000:

Nope. a nameless pencil pusher that represents a union said he was not happy about it.

2 (TWO) names.

a

As usual, much ado about nothing.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Nope. a nameless pencil pusher that represents a union said he was not happy about it.

2 (TWO) names.

a

As usual, much ado about nothing.

That " nameless pencil pusher" has a medical degree, practiced medicine and represents thousands of doctors. What are your medical credentials?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Present Japan's incompetent Suga government has no new plan or idea how prevent infection epidemic until popularization of vaccination, no even drastic expansion of medical services or PCR test.

Several tens thousand patients who cannot get even medical treatment are compelled to stay at home, infection spread during family, victim increasing.

Olympics had been beautified as "festival of the peace" excessively in Japan for a long time.

But, now words such as "sacrifice" or "Armageddon" from IOC symbolize actual Olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

yes common sense.no olympics,no BS

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@zoroto

Think...

They don’t even look like N95 masks!

Likely they are vaccinated. Very little danger to them.

yes, but my wife had both her vaccinations but it’s the risk of transferring the virus as well that makes the protection imperative. Also how much do you trust a rushed vaccine on a new novel virus that is mutating?....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The government needs to follow the doctors and cancel the games.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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