CM – Study: Olympics with spectators would cause 10,000 infections: The Asahi Shimbun


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The Olympic logo seen in the Odaiba waterfront district of Tokyo on February 3 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

If spectators were allowed to attend the Olympic Games in Tokyo, another 10,000 people in the capital would be infected with the novel corona virus within a month, warned health experts.

The experts from Kyoto University, the national institute for Infectious diseases and other institutions estimated the number of new infections in the capital between July 23, the planned opening date of the Olympic Games, and the end of August.

They compared the forecast virus situations in Tokyo when the Summer Games are held with or without spectators , and presented the results to a panel of experts advising the Ministry of Health at a meeting on June 16.

Government officials and Olympic organizers are about to decide whether spectators can attend the Olympic events. Although overseas fans have already been banned, government officials seem to be inclined to allow local audiences to attend the games.

The expert study assumed that the flow of people in the capital began after the planned lifting of the COVID-19 state of emergency for Tokyo on June 20 will jump by 10 or 15 percent.

This passenger traffic would increase by 4 to 9 percent with no viewers and by 5 to 10 percent with admission.

Your COVID-19 prognoses were also based on the assumption that from June 20, 150,000 vaccine shots will be administered daily to Tokyo, with an effectiveness rate of 80 percent in preventing infections.

According to the city government, around 84,000 doses were received on June 15 in the capital Administered to seniors.

The experts also took into account the potential spread of the Delta variant, which originated in India.

According to estimates by the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee According to the experts, around 250,000 people will travel to the capital and the surrounding area every day to watch the games at the venues or public viewing events, some of which have been canceled.

The calculations showed that the The difference between holding the Olympic Games with spectators or without fans by August 25 in Tokyo would be more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases.

This means that the capital would have to process around 300 additional new cases every day, if spectators can attend the Games.

The number is based on the scenario of a 15 percent increase in the flow of people after the state of emergency is lifted and a further 10 percent increase after the start of the Olympics, even if the effects of the delta variant were kept low will be minimum.

According to another estimate by the experts, Tokyo’s daily number of new infections would exceed 500 by mid-July, if the movement of people around 10 or 15 percent increases, regardless of whether the Olympics are held or canceled.

An area with this number of new cases every day is considered level 4, the most serious situation in terms of the spread of infections. A level 4 condition requires the government to consider a state of emergency.

Yuki Furuse, a program-specific adjunct professor at Kyoto University and one of the experts, said people’s behavior and the government’s anti-virus measures will change once the infections rise, suggesting the actual numbers might go down.

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