Current plans to conduct the Olympics “are not informed by the best scientific evidence,” the researchers wrote, calling for changes.
âI don’t think anyone at this point would want that torch on and see us pull ourselves together, but I think the approach they’re taking right now is practically dangerous if they don’t change a lot of things. what recommendations they have and how they will protect athletes and their support team members, âOsterholm said. “I think it’s a real challenge.”
“ Not informed of the best scientific evidence ”
The statement added that the manuals implement the wearing of masks, personal hygiene, physical distancing and draw inspiration from hundreds of other sporting events that took place during the pandemic, “which were carried out safely , with minimal risk to participants and the local population “.
In the New England Journal of Medicine, Osterholm and his co-authors wrote that the playbooks could include more frequent Covid-19 testing and they pointed out that temperature control plans could miss pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic cases.
âIn the absence of regular testing, participants can become infected during the Olympics and pose a risk when they return home to more than 200 countries,â they wrote.
“We believe that the IOC’s determination to proceed to the Olympic Games is not based on the best scientific evidence,” the researchers wrote. “The playbooks argue that athletes participate at their own risk, while failing both to distinguish between the different levels of risk athletes face and to recognize the limitations of measures such as temperature tests and face masks.”
Vaccine maker donates Covid-19 vaccines
“We invite athletes and participating delegations to the next Olympic and Paralympic Games to lead by example and to accept the vaccine where and when possible,” he added in part.
In Japan, where the Olympic Games will be held, less than 5% of the population is vaccinated, the researchers wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. They added that not all athletes competing in the Olympics might be able to get the vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech have offered to give vaccines to all Olympic athletes, but this offer does not guarantee that all athletes will receive vaccines before the Olympics, as vaccine authorization and availability is lacking in more than 100 countries “the researchers wrote. “Although several countries have vaccinated their athletes, adolescents aged 15 to 17 cannot be vaccinated in most countries, and children under 15 can be vaccinated in even fewer countries.”
They also noted in the article that the coronavirus variants, which may be more transmissible than the original strain, circulate widely, posing risks.
Tokyo doctors want the Games canceled
A large group of Japanese doctors have called for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled, fearing the influx of people will worsen an already worsening epidemic in the country. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association warned earlier this month that the country’s healthcare system could not meet the medical needs of thousands of athletes, coaches and the press in addition to the current surge in Covid cases. -19.
The Tokyo Physicians Association includes approximately 6,000 physicians in Tokyo.
âThe most important priority now is to fight COVID-19 and secure people’s lives and livelihoods,â the letter said. “The virus is spread with the movement of people. Japan will bear a great responsibility if the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games contributes to the spread of COVID-19 and increases the number of victims and deaths.”
CNN’s Emiko Jozuka in Hong Kong, Selina Wang in Tokyo, and Mai Nishiyama contributed to this report.