The head of the Japanese government’s coronavirus advisory group reiterated his call for comprehensive measures to prevent infections for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Responding to questions at a Lower House committee meeting on Wednesday, Omi Shigeru stressed the need to avoid putting additional strain on the healthcare system.
He suggested that the public would not tolerate forcing overwhelmed medical institutions to respond to infections caused by gambling. He added that it is the duty of the event organizing committee and the Japanese government to prevent such a situation.
The organizing committee has not yet decided whether or how many spectators should be allowed at the games venues.
Omi suggested that any decision on the matter should be made in a way that wins public support.
He also said he hoped to see the Health Ministry’s expert advisory group meet during the games and assess the infection situation and the availability of medical care.
Some municipalities are considering canceling public screenings of the games as part of efforts to prevent infections among crowds. In Japan, spectators of baseball, football and other sporting events are already invited to cheer rather than applaud.
Omi said public screenings will make people want to cheer, but there are a number of ways it can be done, such as watching the games on TV at home.
He said infections were spreading dramatically and games would provide a good opportunity to try new ways to cheer.