A top medical organisation in Japan, has thrown its weight behind calls to cancel the Tokyo Olympics, saying hospitals are already overwhelmed as the country battles a spike in coronavirus infections less than three months from the start of the Summer Games.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, dated May 14 and posted online on Monday, the Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association said hospitals in the host city “have their hands full and have almost no spare capacity.”
“We strongly request that the authorities convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that holding the Olympics is difficult and obtain its decision to cancel the Games,” the letter read.
The association, which represents about 6,000 primary care doctors, made the appeal amid a jump in infections that has resulted in a shortage of hospital beds in some parts of the Japanese capital and stoked alarm across the country.
Suga on Friday, extended a third state of emergency in Tokyo and several other prefectures until May 31.
But the prime minister said that holding a “safe and secure” Olympic games was possible if tight preventive measures were implemented, including actions that would keep ordinary Japanese from coming into contact with those arriving in connection with the Games.
A majority of the Japanese public, however, oppose hosting the Olympics this year.
The Tokyo Medical Practitioner’s Association, in its May 14 letter, said medical institutions dealing with COVID-19 would soon face the added difficulty of dealing with heat exhaustion in patients during the summer months.
And if the Olympics contributed to a rise in deaths, it said, “Japan will bear the maximum responsibility.”#s63