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Olympic Games Could Be COVID-19 Super Evolutionary Event

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As for the Olympic people, whose results have already tested positive, McCloskey said that this does not mean a failure in the system. On the contrary, each one represented a slice of a more infectious timeline that could have been. “What we see is basically what we expected to see,” McCloskey told reporters in Tokyo at a news conference on July 19, a week before the opening ceremony. “If I thought that all the tests we did would be negative, I would not run them.”

Hi, 91 positive cases from about 15,000 participants, tens of thousands of reporters and other Olympic workers – that’s not bad, isn’t it? For some disease experts and athlete advocates, the answer is that this is actually very bad because of what is said about drugs and what might happen next.

At least this what some scientists and experts say. Hitoshi Oshitani, virologist who developed a strategy for Japan to combat coronavirus, said Times of London that he didn’t think the Olympics could be safe. “There are a number of countries where there are not many cases, and in a number of countries there are no options,” said Ositani. Once… “We shouldn’t do the Olympics. [an occasion] spread the virus to these countries. There is not much risk for the US and UK, where people are vaccinated. But in most countries of the world there is no vaccine. “

McCloskey estimates that about 85 percent of people who come to Tokyo will be vaccinated. But only about 22 percent of Japanese people. This is one of the lowest rates among wealthy countries. Combined with Japan’s relatively low number of cases, this means that most of the population does not yet have antibodies to the virus. Epidemiologists call them “naive”. This means that Japan can, as they say, become a victim of its own success. “It is clear that hosting these Olympic Games is very important,” says Samuel Scarpino, managing director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute. “Because, of course, it is risky to bring people together in a country where there is practically no vaccination and practically no immunity among the population.”

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The asymptomatic airborne transmission of Covid-19 means testing must be done extremely frequently, at least once a day, to identify cases before they infect others. Strict and Successful Disease Control Measures US National Football League as well as National Basketball Association for example, all standard hygiene and distancing measures were followed, as well as a strict test-trail-isolate regimen. The NFL ran reverse transcription PCR tests on a daily basis and provided players and staff with single-purpose electronic devices to record close contacts; cumulative 15 minutes or more is considered a higher risk. Over time, the NFL supplemented the electronics with intense face-to-face interviews to determine the nature of these contacts. (Wearing a mask? Indoors? While eating?) “What the NBA did – or women’s basketball, which I recommended last year – was designing and removing the bubble. Once in, you won’t lose, ”says Annie Sparrow, professor of health and policy at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. “You can’t create a bubble at the Olympics. It simply cannot be done on such a scale. “

In early July, Sparrow and a group of other researchers from the United States published comment in New England Journal of Medicine expressing many of the same concerns as the Oshitani. They went even further, warning that the strategy the McCloskey group had come up with was based on outdated information about the dynamics of the virus.

This article, in turn, echoed criticism from the World Players Association, an international group that works with athletes’ unions around the world. The WPA argued – with little effect since it received no response from the IOC – that the rules treat contact, say, on a rugby field, as contact in individual gymnastics or on an outdoor treadmill. WPA officials criticized the shared room situation and textbook advice on how to occasionally open windows for ventilation, which might not be practical in Tokyo’s hot summer heat. Also bad on the plan: allowing different types of masks and personal protective equipment, using telephone contact-tracing apps instead of special technologies, and a number of other less prominent measures that WPA officials say simply caused problems. … “There will never be zero risk when it comes to Covid, but certainly more risk mitigation measures could be taken,” says Matthew Graham, director of legal and player relations at WPA. “We, like the athletes we represent, hope that it can be done safely, but we don’t have to spare any money.”


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