Original title: Japan’s epidemic is rising, vaccination is slow, and the outlook for Tokyo Olympics is overshadowed
Chinanews, May 14th, a comprehensive report that only two months before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan’s new crown epidemic continues to heat up, but the vaccination schedule is still slow. The epidemic has cast a shadow over the prospects of the Olympics. 40 cities and towns in Japan have given up pre-match training and exchange activities for receiving overseas athletes. The National Medical Union of Japan submitted a request to oppose hosting the Olympics.
Japan has recently ushered in the peak of the epidemic. On the 13th, there were 7058 new confirmed cases, with a total of 660,000 confirmed cases; the current number of severely ill patients reached 1,189, a new high.
Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases released analysis results on the same day, stating that more than 90% of patients in Japan are currently infected with the “N501Y” variant virus strain, and almost 100% in Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo. The risk of severe illness caused by this strain is 40% higher than that of the original strain.
The epidemic situation is severe, but Japan’s vaccination progress has been slow. Japan started its vaccination plan on February 17. As of May 13, Japan had only received 4.994 million doses of the vaccine, and 2.9% of the population had received at least one dose. Recently, Japan’s daily vaccination has exceeded 200,000 doses, but it is still far away from the authorities’ goal of “1 million doses per day”.
Affected by the recent epidemic, the people’s willingness to vaccinate has increased greatly, but they have found that the number of places is insufficient, and the appointment places in many places are immediately robbed as soon as they are launched, and they are facing the dilemma of no injections. At the vaccination site in Shibuya, Tokyo’s downtown area, the appointment of 4,800 doses was opened at 9 o’clock in the morning, and it was full in 15 minutes.
Taro Kono, who is in charge of vaccination work, said in an interview on the 12th that he accepts the public’s criticism of the vaccine distribution system, but believes that Japan’s vaccine approval system is “cumbersome” during the epidemic. He said: “Even though we are in a crisis, we still use the regular rules to approve vaccines… the government should make changes.”
On the other hand, there have been a series of incidents of vaccination errors in Japan recently. In addition to nearly a thousand doses of Pfizer vaccine being scrapped after being stored at room temperature for more than 3 hours, there have also been nurses in Nara Prefecture who accidentally used saline as a vaccine. The public is vaccinated, while nurses in Fukuoka Prefecture mix the remaining vaccines for the public to vaccinate.
The epidemic has also cast a shadow over the prospects of the Tokyo Olympics. Japan’s original 528 local governments have registered as reception cities for foreign athletes in Eastern Olympics. As of the 12th, 40 cities and towns have given up pre-match training and exchange activities for receiving overseas athletes.
At the same time, some countries and regions have decided to cancel training camps in Japan. The US track and field team stated that due to the severe epidemic in Japan and taking into account the safety of players, it decided to cancel the pre-match training that was originally scheduled to be held in Chiba Prefecture from early July to early August. The pre-match training of the British wheelchair basketball team and the Russian fencing team have also been cancelled.
At the same time, Japan is not optimistic about hosting the Olympics. Japan’s National Physicians’ Union submitted a request on the 13th, stating that it “strongly opposes the holding of the Tokyo Olympics when people all over the world are fighting against the new crown.” “During the pandemic, we cannot hold a safe and secure Olympics.”
The National Physician’s Union of Japan represents doctors in some Japanese hospitals and is one of Japan’s unions for different medical professionals. The union statement added: “We cannot deny that many new virus variants around the world will bring danger to Tokyo.”
The request stated that even if a spectator-free event is held, tens of thousands of players and team staff from all over the world will arrive in Japan. It cannot be denied that it is dangerous.
In addition, when medical personnel have to work for a long time, it is irresponsible to hold the Olympics, which may lead to the collapse of regional medical care, and require medical practitioners working on the front line to volunteer. Therefore, the Olympics should be suspended. .
However, when Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met with Chiba Prefecture Governor Morita Mae at the Prime Minister’s Office on the same day, he reiterated his determination to hold the Tokyo Olympics as scheduled.