(ATR) Efforts to keep the COVID-19 virus at bay remain the primary work of Tokyo 2020 organizers ahead of the 100 days to go milestone this week.
The latest measure, reported by Kyodo, could be to secure a hotel with about 300 rooms for athletes who test positive for the virus at the Games but are showing minor or no symptoms.
The hotel would be used to isolate and treat the athletes and Olympic staff members on a 24/7 basis. Those who test positive but do not need to be taken to the hospital would in principle face a 10-day quarantine at the hotel.
The cost to reserve an entire hotel near the Olympic Village is expected to run into the hundreds of millions of yen (millions of dollars).
A fleet of about 30 special vehicles, designed to protect drivers from infection, would be used to transport the COVID-19 patients to the hotel.
The plan, which has not been made official, would also include multi-language services and halal food for those who require it.
Chinese Vaccines Not Effective Enough?
The IOC recently announced that it would provide National Olympic Committees with the Chinese vaccine as long as the relevant national health authority had approved it.
But there is now some question about the usefulness of the Chinese vaccines.
Associated Press reports the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention admitted over the weekend that the current Chinese vaccines "don’t have very high protection rates" and that mixing them to produce a stronger vaccine is under consideration.
Effectiveness ranges from 50 percent to 79 percent, based on claims by companies who are making four of the five vaccines currently in use, according to AP. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines being used in developed countries have both been shown to be about 95 percent effective.
The Chinese vaccines have also been distributed to several dozen countries including Mexico, Turkey and Indonesia.
Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Schedule
Tokyo 2020 organizers on Monday released details for four more days of torch relay segments.
The new additions cover April 21-22 in Ehime and April 23-24 in Oita and are in line with the standard plans that were put in place ahead of the start of the postponed torch relay.
As of now, all four days are planned to be run on public roads and will include a celebration event after the last section is completed each day.
The first notable change to the route will take place starting on April 13, when the Osaka segment will spend two days in the city’s Expo ’70 Commemorative Park rather than on public roads due to a medical state of emergency in the city caused by a rise in COVID-19 cases.
The torch relay schedule returns to normal after Osaka, as it travels through Tokushima on April 15-16, Kagawa on April 17-18 and Kochi on April 19-20.
Homepage photo: Tokyo 2020
Written by Gerard Farek
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