India backs holding Tokyo Olympics 2020 amidst COVID-19 concerns
The Olympic Games 2020 was supposed to be held last year in Tokyo but was postponed by a year owing to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Although the situation somewhat remains the same with a year gone, India is willing to go ahead with the Games.
The Tokyo Olympics has been much awaited since the previous edition in 2016, held in Rio de Janerio. While the Tokyo Games were scheduled to be held last year, it was postponed to 2021, citing the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
A year has passed since. Although things are slowly progressing towards normalcy, it is still some time away. As a result, the Tokyo Olympics organisers are concerned if the global event should still go ahead from July 23.
Meanwhile, Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra has said that he has no problems with the tournament going ahead and has asserted that the world is beginning to move beyond the pandemic. "Life has to move on and conducting the Olympics will give a strong message that we have moved beyond the COVID-19 pandemic," he told PTI.
"Opposition to the Games will always be there, but it is now up to the organising committee of Japan and IOC to decide. But, as far as Indian athletes are concerned, we are taking all necessary precautions and have been preparing to the best of our abilities to put up our best-ever performance in the Olympics," he added.
However, Batra's comments come when the host is struggling and going through the fourth wave of the pandemic. Consequently, 3,50,000 people have signed a petition and submitted it to the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee, along with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, to cancel the global event this term.
Meanwhile, Batra asserted that India's recent travel ban would not affect the participation of the Indians in the event. He also affirmed that all the participating athletes would be vaccinated prior to departure for the Games.
"This is a temporary travel ban which has been issued by many countries, but when it comes to Olympics, there are different protocols in place which a member nation has adhere to. I assure all the accredited Olympics-bound Indian athletes that they will face no problem in entering Japan," he continued.
"We have been following all COVID protocols of the Organising Committee and IOC as per as vaccination of our athletes are concerned. We have also been in discussion with the government about the safe travel of our athletes to Japan," he concluded.
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