Covid-19: A Collective Battle - Eastern Mirror
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Covid-19: A Collective Battle

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 21, 2021 11:16 pm

With barely 24 hours to go, the fate of the Tokyo Olympic Games is still hanging in the balance. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organising committee of the games are trying hard to hold the ‘greatest show on earth’ as per schedule as protests against staging the games are growing louder. The opposition to the Olympics is so strong that principal sponsor Toyota has decided not to be a part of the opening ceremony and to show no advertisements of the company on television during the entire period of the games keeping in mind the public sentiment. Already 79 persons associated with the games have been infected by Covid-19 virus. Many feel that this number will go further up when nearly 11 thousand start living in the games village. On its part, the IOC is working overtime to keep the virus out of the games. IOC has already adopted a zero tolerance policy against Covid-19. But the World Health Organisation (WHO) is not so optimistic, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom has categorically admitted that eliminating risk is impossible. According to him, to successfully organise the games, the key is to identify and isolate the infected persons at the earliest.

But detection and isolation alone will not control the situation. With the rise in Covid cases, demands will be raised to cancel the games. Tokyo is still in a state of emergency with the number of Covid cases rising and the Japanese people have made it clear that they are not in favour of holding the Olympics Games at this stage. Moreover, it is not due to popular demand, but for financial reasons that the IOC and Japan are pushing ahead with the Olympics. If the Olympics are postponed, both the IOC and Japan will incur huge financial loss. With both sides vehemently presenting their cases even before the commencement of the games, rumblings have started.

But it is strange that despite knowing the situation, the developed world did not stand by Japan at this hour of crisis. It is as though competing countries wanted Japan to fail at organising the Olympics. The need of the hour was to vaccinate sportspersons and organisers along with the majority of Japan’s population, so that Covid does not pose a serious challenge. The same formula was adopted whilst organising the Euro Cup recently. Even a small European nation like Hungary allowed spectators to the stadium as the vaccination process was almost complete in the country. But the same formula was not applied to the Olympics. It may be mentioned here that 75 per cent of the vaccine shots delivered globally were in ten countries only. This has been termed as a ‘horrifying injustice’ by Adhanom, director general of the WHO.

From statistics it is evident that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could be a smooth affair if the rich nations extended help towards Japan. Adhanom was right in saying that the pandemic would end when the world chose it to end. Tokyo Olympics showcases a perfect prediction of what the future hold if the world’s nations fail to unite while facing a crisis. The world today is an interconnected hub of trade and commerce, and countries must realise that eliminating Covid and other future diseases is only possible through a collective effort.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 21, 2021 11:16:12 pm