Medical union in Japan asks the government to cancel the Games

05/13/2021 at 1:31 PM CEST


The National Union of Japanese Doctors presented a request to the government on Thursday to cancel the Olympic Games scheduled for this summer, alleging that they pose a risk due to the possible arrival and spread of new strains of the covid.

In the document presented to the Ministry of Health, the union alleges that “the greatest current problem is the threat of new strains” and that, although the Games are held without an audience, with the arrival of athletes and other participants “it cannot be ruled out the possibility of bringing strains from anywhere “.

This, they argue, poses a risk due to the potential emergence of other mutations, which is why “it is not possible that the Games are safe” and they ask for their cancellation.

“For the athletes it will be hard, but someone has to ask for the cancellation of the Games. That is why we ask this, because the health workers have been forced to be the ones to do it,” said the union representative, Naoto Ueyama, at a press conference.

Ueyama considers that “the government has the important mission of protecting the lives of citizens” and that in this situation the Executive “must show a clear position.”

The health group began to publicly show its opposition to the celebration of the Games after leaking the plan to deploy some 10,000 of them at that appointment at a time of enormous pressure on the national health system due to the fourth wave of covid that is going through Japan and which has led to the declaration of a new state of emergency in the most populated regions, including Tokyo.

“40% of active doctors have exceeded the overtime limit and 10% work twice the legal limit established in the regulations on death due to overwork. This absolute lack of doctors is a factor that affects the system health and also vaccination. And the government takes the position of reducing the number of doctors in the face of this reality, “denounces the union.

The shortage of health resources has led three prefectures that will host the Olympic Games to refuse to reserve hospital beds for athletes who may need them in case of contracting COVID-19.

Today the governor of Chiba (northeast of Tokyo), Toshihito Kumagai, said it will not allow “prized beds for covid patients in the prefecture” to be occupied by people linked to the Games.

The statements of Kumagai follow a day later those of their counterpart from Ibaraki (north of Tokyo), who said Japan should consider postponing the Games again or canceling them in the face of a health collapse, and after the governor of Kanagawa (south of the capital) indicated that it will not give preferential treatment to the Olympians while the system copes with the increase in infections.

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