According to reports from the Tokyo Olympics, Professor Devi Sridhar said the development of effective and affordable treatment would be a “game-changer” in whether the postponed Games take place. The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 organizers held an executive board meeting recently and they reiterated their hope the Games can be the “light at the end of the tunnel”.
However, IOC coordination commission chair John Coates said that Covid-19 could can still be a major setback for the Tokyo Olympics. They rescheduled the Tokyo Olympics, which was supposed to take place this June, it will now hold from 23rd of July to 8th of August 2021.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, John Coates said it the Tokyo Olympic can’t hold because the beauty of sports events is mass gatherings to watch it. He said the IOC would be guided by the World Health Organization.
Professor Sridhar, who is chair of global health at the University of Edinburgh, said the chances of Tokyo 2020 going ahead as planned “all depends on a vaccine”. “We’re hearing from the scientists that this could be possible. I had thought it would be a year or a year and a half away but we’re hearing possibly this could come sooner,” she said.
“If we do get a vaccine within the next year then actually I think that (Olympics) is realistic. The vaccine will be the game-changer – an effective, affordable, available vaccine. “If we don’t get a scientific breakthrough then I think that looks very unrealistic. “I think they’ve made the right decision in saying ‘we are going to put it back a year and re-evaluate’.
“And I think that is the only way you can deal with this situation – to take stock, to be hopeful, to support our scientific community and our NHS community to do what they can because science in the long-term is going to be the way we get out of this.”
Presently there is a nationwide state of emergency in Japan where the Olympics is to be held, reports has it that the country declared a nationwide lockdown until 6th of May. The IOC and Tokyo 2020 local organizing committee announced on Thursday they have set up a joint steering committee to deliver the postponed Olympics, led by Coates and Tokyo Olympics president Yoshiro Mori.
Mori said: “Soon after the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games on 24 March, Tokyo 2020 established a ‘New Launch’ taskforce and we have been working since then to create a structure capable of overcoming these unprecedented challenges.
“We believe that today’s new step is an important achievement in advancing over the coming year what we have prepared over the past five to six years. We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure the success of the Games.”