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  1. #1
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    Tokyo Olympics and coronavirus - how will the games be affected?

    There must be a lot of nerves and worry behind the scenes. It is possible that the whole thing may just turn to shit.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With the Olympics due to begin on 24 July, Pound said any decision on whether the Games will go ahead does not need to be taken until late May.

    "You could certainly go to two months out if you had to," the 77-year-old Canadian said. "A lot of things have to start happening. You've got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels, the media folks will be in there building their studios.

    "This is the new war and you have to face it. In and around that time, I'd say folks are going to have to ask: 'Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo, or not?'"

    Pound explained that the IOC will be led by decisions taken by the World Health Organization (WHO) and individual national governments.
    "We're pretty good at dealing with sport problems, but a pandemic is beyond our pay grade," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

    "It will depend on the WHO to make a call with respect to international travel and the places that should be avoided. It may come down to a government intervention in Japan, or other governments saying 'we don't want our citizens travelling there'."

    Pound said that cancelling the Games is a "worst-case scenario" and that other contingencies, such as a postponement, or even dispersing events across the globe, may be already be under consideration.

    "We have to think of alternatives," he said. "Could you still hold them this year? We would speak with the Japanese government to ask them if this 'bubble' can be held in place.

    "Everything is on the table. You could disperse the Games, for example have some events in Canada, some in Britain, etc."

    Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympics still 'business as usual', says IOC's Dick Pound - BBC Sport

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Big problem like this can put administrators' feet to the fire; would cost major disruption and tens of global billions to cancel such a mammoth event, against the risks of a 'political/economic' preference for the show to go on.

    Is there a cutoff date for the decision? Can anyone predict what the situation will be by the cutoff date? Who makes the final decision, WHO, IOC, Japs, other, combo...? Are the Japs braced for flash preparations at short notice? What if it's waning or even under control at the epicentre, which naively assumes honest Chinese reporting, but still alive and well elsewhere?

    Could go on, but intrigued not just which way it finally blows, but the scale of conflicting interests that will input for a such a critical decision.

  3. #3
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabir View Post
    Could go on
    Oh yes.

    Especially just after coffee.

    Basically, like with the markets, who knows.

  4. #4
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabir View Post
    Is there a cutoff date for the decision? Can anyone predict what the situation will be by the cutoff date? Who makes the final decision, WHO, IOC, Japs, other, combo...? .
    With the Olympics due to begin on 24 July, Pound said any decision on whether the Games will go ahead does not need to be taken until late May.
    "It will depend on the WHO to make a call with respect to international travel and the places that should be avoided. It may come down to a government intervention in Japan, or other governments saying 'we don't want our citizens travelling there'."
    So the end of May - and it will be WHO who makes the call.

    The situation must change for the better soon, no doubt.

  5. #5
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
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    Perhaps it will be moved to Phnom Penh with Hun Sen lighting the flame.

  6. #6
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles View Post
    So the end of May - and it will be WHO who makes the call.

    The situation must change for the better soon, no doubt.
    Don't think many influenzas live into the summer months.


    But of course I don't know what the fok I'm on about.

  7. #7
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    ^ it's a new thing, nobody knows.

    It'll be cancelled, obviously. They might as well do so now rather than wait... Having said that, if there is a dramatic tail off due to warm weather it's possible, but with 3-4 weeks incubation period and the spread of the virus, it'll be chaos, so even if it drops down dramatically in April/May, it's still gonna be bad. Cancel it.
    How do I post these pictures???

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post
    Don't think many influenzas live into the summer months.


    But of course I don't know what the fok I'm on about.
    It's 32C in Singapore and that hasn't killed it.

    For most of Europe that is summer weather.

  9. #9
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    ^ good point.

  10. #10
    R.I.P. Luigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    It's 32C in Singapore and that hasn't killed it.
    See me second sentence.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post
    See me second sentence.
    I know, I was just proving it.


  12. #12
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    IOC member says Tokyo Games could be canceled due to virus

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    February 26, 2020 at 11:00 JST



    Two people wear masks as they visit the newly opened Japan Olympic Museum located near the New National Stadium on Feb. 23 in Tokyo. (AP Photo)

    A senior member of the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday that if it proves too dangerous to hold the Olympics in Tokyo this summer because of the coronavirus outbreak, organizers are more likely to cancel it altogether than to postpone or move it.

    Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been on the IOC since 1978, making him its longest-serving member, estimated there is a three-month window--perhaps a two-month one--to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, meaning a decision could be put off until late May.

    "In and around that time, I'd say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?'” he said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

    As the games draw near, he said, “a lot of things have to start happening. You've got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels. The media folks will be in there building their studios."

    If the IOC decides the games cannot go forward as scheduled in Tokyo, “you're probably looking at a cancellation," he said.
    The viral outbreak that began in China two months ago has infected more than 80,000 people globally and killed over 2,700, the vast majority of them in China. But the virus has gained a foothold in South Korea, the Middle East and Europe, raising fears of a pandemic. Japan itself has reported four deaths.

    Pound encouraged athletes to keep training. About 11,000 are expected for the Olympics, which open July 24, and 4,400 are bound for the Paralympics, which open Aug. 25.

    “As far as we all know, you're going to be in Tokyo,” Pound said. “All indications are at this stage that it will be business as usual. So keep focused on your sport and be sure that the IOC is not going to send you into a pandemic situation."

    The modern Olympics, which date to 1896, have been canceled only during wartime. The Olympics in 1940 were supposed to be in Tokyo but were called off because of Japan's war with China and World War II. The Rio Games in Brazil went on as scheduled in 2016 despite the outbreak of the Zika virus.

    Pound repeated the IOC's stance--that it is relying on consultations with the World Health Organization, a United Nations body, to make any move.

    As for the possibility of postponement, he said: "You just don't postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics. There's so many moving parts, so many countries and different seasons, and competitive seasons, and television seasons. You can't just say, `We'll do it in October.'”

    Pound said moving to another city also seems unlikely “because there are few places in the world that could think of gearing up facilities in that short time to put something on."

    London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has suggested the British capital as an alternative. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike suggested the offer was an attempt to use the virus for political purposes.

    Pound said he would not favor a scattering of Olympic events to other places around the world because that wouldn't “constitute an Olympic Games. You'd end up with a series of world championships.” He also said it would be extremely difficult to spread around the various sports over a 17-day period with only a few months' notice.

    Holding the Olympics in Tokyo but postponing them by a few months would be unlikely to satisfy North American broadcasters, whose schedules are full in the fall with American pro football, college football, European soccer, basketball, baseball and ice hockey. Other world broadcasters also have jammed schedules.

    “It would be tough to get the kind of blanket coverage that people expect around the Olympic Games,” Pound said.

    He also cast doubt on the possibility of a one-year delay. Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics, although a national audit board says the country is spending twice that much.

    “You have to ask if you can hold the bubble together for an extra year,” Pound said. “Then, of course, you have to fit all of this into the entire international sports schedule.”

    Pound said the IOC has been building up an emergency fund, reported to be about $1 billion, for unforeseen circumstances to help the IOC and the international sports federations that depend on income from the IOC. About 73% of the IOC's $5.7 billion income in a four-year Olympic cycle comes from broadcast rights.

    “It's not an insurable risk, and it's not one that can be attributed to one or the other of the parties," he said. “So everybody takes their lumps. There would be a lack of revenue on the Olympic movement side."

    Pound said the future of the Tokyo Games is largely out of the IOC's hands and depends on the course the virus takes.

    “If it gets to be something like the Spanish flu,” Pound said, referring to the deadly pandemic early in the 20th century that killed millions, “at that level of lethality, then everybody's got to take their medicine.”

    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13164813


  13. #13
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    Japan Can’t Handle the Coronavirus. Can It Host the Olympics?

    By KOICHI NAKANO/ 2020 The New York Times
    February 27, 2020 at 11:26 JST


    TOKYO--The Japanese government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has been staggeringly incompetent. Why, when so much is at stake for Japan, especially as the host country of the Olympics this summer?

    The first infection in Japan was confirmed on Jan. 28. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be “a public health emergency of international concern” on Jan. 30. But it took until Feb. 17 for the Health Ministry of Japan to even inform the public about when, where and how to contact government health care centers in case of a suspected infection. And it was only this Tuesday that the government finally adopted a “basic policy” for responding to the outbreak--which essentially boiled down to asking people to stay home. As of Wednesday, there were 847 confirmed cases of Covid-19 (and six deaths) in or just offshore of Japan.

    Medical professionals are running short of face masks, disinfectant and test kits--and Japan is running short of medical professionals who can perform diagnostic tests. Yet so far Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has rejected the opposition’s demand to increase the budget currently under discussion in Parliament, or the Diet, to help tackle the outbreak; he has said it was premature to assume that the existing budget reserve will be insufficient.

    And so the Japanese people have been told not to seek testing, nor bother visiting medical institutions unless their symptoms are severe and lasting. Mr. Abe has, in effect, outsourced the government’s containment efforts to the population itself, while the state concentrates limited resources on the severely ill and makes little effort to increase those resources. He might also have been thinking: With no test, there can be no rise in confirmed cases either.

    The inadequacy of the government’s response was laid bare by the unmitigated epidemiological and public relations disaster that was the saga of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. After a 14-day quarantine, at least 634 passengers and crew members (out of a total of 3,645 people) were confirmed to have been infected aboard the ship. “We’re in a petri dish,” one passenger said. “It’s an experiment. We’re their guinea pigs.”

    Since people started leaving the ship on Feb. 19, confirmed cases among them have been reported in the United States, Australia, Israel and Britain. Whereas those countries placed returning passengers under another 14-day period of isolation, Japan simply released all Japanese nationals from the boat--and at least one of them later tested positive for Covid-19. Twenty-three passengers, most of them Japanese, were also accidentally allowed to go without having undergone mandatory medical tests.

    Astonishingly, the Japanese government released without a test more than 90 officials who boarded the ship during the quarantine, even though four had already tested positive--and this, according to one report, because of concern that “they won’t be able to fulfill their official duties if found positive.” The Health Ministry has since agreed to test 41 officials, but it still won’t test any medical professionals and quarantine officers who were on board, on grounds that “they had taken sufficient precautions” themselves.

    As some observers have pointed out, a measure of denial and inertia is at play. The Japanese bureaucracy is notoriously dominated by a culture of “kotonakare shugi” (literally, “no-problem-ism”), which prioritizes stability and conformity, and shuns anything that might rock the institutional boat. Sound the alarm about an impending crisis and you might be blamed for causing it.

    Mr. Abe’s cabinet set up a task force of ministers to handle the novel coronavirus on Jan. 30, but for many days that group was primarily focused on the situation unfolding in China, particularly on evacuating Japanese nationals from Wuhan, the city at the source of the initial outbreak. As recently as Feb. 13, Japan’s health minister was still saying that more information was necessary “from an epidemiological standpoint to say infections are growing across the country.” Two days later, though, he finally acknowledged that Japan has entered a “new phase” of the outbreak, and now was emphasizing the need to test people and treat the seriously ill. The day after that was the first time the task force convened its panel of experts to seek advice about the conditions in Japan and what measures should be taken.

    Why is Mr. Abe--who is no stranger to an authoritarian style of leadership and readily breaks rules and conventions, as well as, arguably, the Constitution, to get his way--not doing more, or more decisively?

    The answer might simply be: out of a lack of interest, personal and political. When the expert panel finally gathered on Feb. 16, Mr. Abe addressed it for just three minutes and then spent the rest of the day at home. The task force has met 13 times, but according to the opposition, the prime minister has been seen in attendance a mere 12 minutes on average.

    The day after the first Japanese death from Covid-19 was reported, Mr. Abe was at a task force meeting for eight minutes, and then spent nearly three hours at dinner with the chairman and the president of Nikkei, the media organization. Shinjiro Koizumi, the environment minister and a rising star in the ruling party, skipped a task force meeting altogether to attend a New Year’s party with supporters from his constituency.

    This is not the first time that Mr. Abe and his entourage display callous indifference in the face of an unfolding disaster. During the summer of 2018, the prime minister and his ruling-party colleagues came under fire for wining and dining in Tokyo during a bout of torrential rains in western Japan that ultimately killed more than 220 people. From the heavy snow that buried and paralyzed Yamanashi in central Japan in 2014 to Faxai and Hagibis, typhoons that devastated parts of eastern Japan last year, the Abe government has often been criticized for exerting far too little leadership to protect the people.

    Once again, as Japan struggles to respond to Covid-19, Mr. Abe is largely invisible. Perhaps he--much like President Xi Jinping appears to be doing in China--wants to keep his distances from the crisis for fear of being held responsible for its consequences. But there is another explanation, both simpler and more systemic.

    The Japanese government today is dominated by third- and fourth-generation descendants of long political dynasties, who inherited such important assets as name recognition, dedicated electoral machines, ample tax-exempt campaign funds and vast networks of cronies and special interest groups. Both the prime minister and the deputy prime minister, Taro Aso, are the grandchildren of former prime ministers; Mr. Koizumi, the environment minister, is the son of an ex-prime minister; the defense minister, Taro Kono, is the son of a former deputy prime minister.

    Mr. Abe owes his premiership to the accident of birth rather than the democratic will of the Japanese people.

    More than one-third of the lawmakers from his Liberal Democratic Party are hereditary politicians. Mr. Abe, who first was prime minister in 2006-7, won back the presidency of the L.D.P. in September 2012--soon before the party won the election that propelled him to the premiership again--even though the preferences of rank-and-file party members placed him a distant second out of five candidates for the position. (He won because the views of members who are parliamentarians are weighted more.) His current cabinet of 19 ministers counts five sons or grandsons of former members of the Diet; another three have relatives who were lawmakers. The Japanese government is a privileged club of hereditary politicians and their opportunistic sycophants, and a comforting echo chamber.

    Japan’s leaders are so out of touch with the lives of ordinary people that they seem genuinely uninterested in their plight. That, in turn, allows an entire bureaucracy to wallow in denial, even over a crisis like the coronavirus outbreak and just a few months away from the Olympics.
    -------
    Koichi Nakano is a professor of political science at Sophia University, in Tokyo.
    (Feb. 26, 2020)

    Japan Can’t Handle the Coronavirus. Can It Host the Olympics? : The Asahi Shimbun

    Last edited by Wally Dorian Raffles; 27-02-2020 at 03:51 PM.

  14. #14
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    Farang Ky Ay's Avatar
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    We're supposed to avoid crowded areas, limit travels to reduce the risk of spreading the disease and yet when big money is involved they seem reluctant to cancel an event which present high risk ....it's nonsense to gather people from all countries, they could go back home infected and spread the disease there. Or alternatively, every athlete, sport team staff, translators, journalists, technical staff assisting in the event organisation, attendants etc should get quarantined before being allowed back home... that's a lot of people.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    We're supposed to avoid crowded areas, limit travels to reduce the risk of spreading the disease and yet when big money is involved they seem reluctant to cancel an event which present high risk ....it's nonsense to gather people from all countries, they could go back home infected and spread the disease there. Or alternatively, every athlete, sport team staff, translators, journalists, technical staff assisting in the event organisation, attendants etc should get quarantined before being allowed back home... that's a lot of people.

    In fairness it isn't until the end of July, so they can probably wait a few weeks longer.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post
    See me second sentence.

    Hello Kitty ... you've been jailed twice?

    Twice loss of Rep points for various crimes is one thing, but jailed twice ... is there no justice in the world?
















    Now, let me find a bean to kiss ... I NEVER forget

  17. #17
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    Wally Dorian Raffles's Avatar
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    ^^ all previous super bugs have fizzled out in the past. Not being able to stand the heat of the warmer months has been a factor in that. As you mentioned on another thread, the virus has spread to tropical Singapore. That is a worry. I am moving from a sleepy fishing village miles away from everything, to Tokyo, in about 10 days. I have to admit I am a little concerned..

  18. #18
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    ^ respectfully, Mr Raffles, you are dreaming. There are two Hopes of this happening:

    1) Bob Hope.

    2) No Hope.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    ^ respectfully, Mr Raffles, you are dreaming. There are two Hopes of this happening:

    1) Bob Hope.

    2) No Hope.
    based on your expert opinion, huh?

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Japan is heavily invested and reliant on the Games, so unless this thing gets much lot worse the sounds suggest they're leaning toward a green light; logistical nightmare to postpone, so it's either a go or a no. Then it's a question of who might turn up at the party.

  21. #21
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Oh yeah of little faith - Bob Hope and No Hope...

  22. #22
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dorian Raffles View Post
    ^^ all previous super bugs have fizzled out in the past.


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Cancel it.
    Pity of the many multicompanies who would lose their hard-earned profits...

  24. #24
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    Am I alone in thinking most folk these days couldn't give a flying fuck about the Olympics?

  25. #25
    Member Bettyboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Am I alone in thinking most folk these days couldn't give a flying fuck about the Olympics?
    #me too.

    It all started when the US basketball team, folks earning millions per year, rocked up to the Olympics and 'earned' gold medals. When it was amateur, it was easier to respect that athletes and their achievements.

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