SIX NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES (NOCS) HAVE PLEDGED TO THE IOC AND TOKYO 2020 THAT THEIR DELEGATIONS WILL ARRIVE IN JAPAN FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES TOKYO 2020 FULLY VACCINATED. THESE PLEDGES CAME FROM THE NOCS OF BANGLADESH, INDIA, MALDIVES, NEPAL, PAKISTAN AND SRI LANKA ALL OF WHICH ARE CURRENTLY ON THE LIST OF COUNTRIES AND REGIONS SUBJECT TO THE STRONGEST ENTRY RESTRICTIONS FOR JAPAN.
All of these NOCs have also confirmed to the IOC and Tokyo 2020 that they will conduct additional testing of their delegation members prior to departure, over and above the requirements of the Playbooks. This commitment is very warmly welcomed by the IOC, as it represents yet another commitment and a strong signal from stakeholders within the Olympic community that everyone is doing their utmost to ensure the Games will be safe for everyone participating and for the Japanese people.
From the outset, the IOC has been working hand-in-hand with NOCs to encourage and assist their athletes, officials and stakeholders to get vaccinated in their home countries, in line with national immunisation guidelines, before heading to Japan.
Making its pledge, the Bangladesh Olympic Association said it wanted to make clear its ongoing commitment and contribution to the safe conduct of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In reference to the pledge, the Indian Olympic Association said it “does not want to leave any stone unturned” and “supports the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee in every possible manner and aspect”.
The Maldives Olympic Committee (MOC) said that “this pledge will help to ensure public confidence in the rigorous approach that MOC is taking to guarantee that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be conducted in the safest and most secure manner possible.”
“We are committed to obey the safety measurement and rules to protect entire participants of Tokyo 2020 and people of Japan,” said the letter from the NOC of Nepal.
The Pakistan Olympic Association stated that the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee are “making all out efforts” in ensuring these Games will be organised in a safe and secure environment.
The NOC of Sri Lanka said that it is thankful to the government of Japan, the Japanese people, the IOC , Tokyo 2020 and the Japan Olympic Committee for showing solidarity in having the Games, and its entire contingent will be fully compliant with all the health guidelines to ensure safe Games for all.
Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed that as many as 75 per cent of the residents of the Olympic Village are already vaccinated or have secured vaccination; and that there is good reason to believe that this figure will be well over 80 per cent at the time of the Games.
As part of the plans to ensure safe and secure Games, the IOC announced on 6 May 2021 the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE to donate doses of the companies’ COVID-19 vaccines to Games participants from National Olympic and Paralympic Committees around the world.
Additionally, the IOC has received an offer from the Chinese Olympic Committee, the host of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 to assist in making vaccines available.
Another boost was the announcement that Panam Sports has offered vaccinations to all qualified athletes and accredited officials from the region who have not yet been inoculated against COVID-19.
Such positive news confirms once again the true spirit of solidarity that exists throughout the entire Olympic community.