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Bach guarantees vaccines for athletes and trusts that there will be an audience at the JO

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La Jornada newspaper
Tuesday, November 17, 2020, p. a12

Tokyo Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), expressed confidence that the Tokyo Games will be held successfully next year, including with an audience, as the world grapples with a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

Bach spent the day with sports authorities discussing how to organize the fair during the pandemic and ensure the safety of more than 11,000 international athletes.

The IOC head’s visit to the Japanese capital is the first since he met with now-former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to decide in March to postpone this year’s Games to 2021.

The leader said that the IOC will be in charge of guaranteeing the vaccination of both the participants and the visitors before they arrive in Japan. This would allow us to be more confident that we can have an audience on the Olympic stages and that spectators can enjoy a safe environment.

Bach praised the new advances in rapid tests as vital to being able to perform the competitions. He pointed out that the participants in the Games will not have priority to receive the vaccine over nurses, doctors and other people who keep our society alive.

He also mentioned that the fair, scheduled from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, will be the light at the end of this dark tunnel.

The manager suggested that the IOC will cover at least part of the cost of the vaccine, for which the exact figure does not yet have on hand. According to the local press, the estimate ranges from 2 to 3 billion dollars.