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  Sports   In Other sports  28 Apr 2020  Vaccine holds the kley to Tokyo Olympics, says Japanese medical association chief

Vaccine holds the kley to Tokyo Olympics, says Japanese medical association chief

REUTERS
Published : Apr 28, 2020, 8:30 am IST
Updated : Apr 28, 2020, 9:50 am IST

He called for more testing as the current rate was not enough to judge whether infection rates in the country were falling

Scientific coordinator Aude Echalier (R) and head of quantitative pharmacology Martin Redhead look at a screen showing results of vaccine research as they work in the laboratory of British pharmatech company Exscientia at Oxford Science Park in Oxford, in southern central England. AFP Photo
 Scientific coordinator Aude Echalier (R) and head of quantitative pharmacology Martin Redhead look at a screen showing results of vaccine research as they work in the laboratory of British pharmatech company Exscientia at Oxford Science Park in Oxford, in southern central England. AFP Photo

Tokyo: It will be difficult for Tokyo to host the Olympic Games next year unless there is an effective vaccine against the coronavirus, the head of the Japan Medical Association said on Tuesday.

“I am not saying that Japan should or shouldn’t host the Olympics, but that it would be difficult to do so,” JMA president Yoshitake Yokokura said in a media briefing.

Yokokura also called on Japan to increase coronavirus testing, which he said was not widespread enough to judge whether infection rates in the country were falling. He also blamed a lack of gowns and other protective clothing for spreading the virus in hospitals.

The one-year delay of the 2020 Olympic Games announced last month was a major blow to Japan, which had already spent $13 billion preparing for the event. As the outbreak has spread around the world, infecting almost three million people and killing more than 200,000, experts have warned that the fight against the virus could be prolonged.

Laboratories in several countries are working on vaccines to protect people against the novel coronavirus and drugs to treat its symptoms. The need to conduct exhaustive clinical trials to test their effectiveness and safety, however, mean it could be months before they are widely available.

Tags: 2020 tokyo olympics, coronavirus vaccine
Location: Japan, Tokyo-to, Tokyo