WHO Chief Tedros Calls For Global Solidarity To Ensure Tokyo 2020 Can Be Safely Hosted


The head of the World Health OrganisationTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – admits staging the Olympics next year in Tokyo presents a challenge of enormous magnitude.

Tokyo 2020 was postponed by a year in March following advice from the WHO in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and is now due to take place from 23 July 2021.

Around 11,000 athletes from more than 200 teams are due to compete and will be housed – along with team officials – in the Athletes’ Village of 5,600 apartments at Tokyo Bay.

WHO’s director general Tedros has no illusions as to the magnitude of the task in ensuring the safety of a global gathering.


Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

In a joint press conference with the International Olympic Committee, he said:

“We hope Tokyo will be a place where humanity will gather with triumph against COVID,” Tedros said at WHO headquarters.

“It is in our hands, but it is not easy. If we do our best, especially with national unity and global solidarity, I think it’s possible.”

There has been much speculation as to how the Olympics can go ahead if a vaccine has not been developed with Japan Medical Association (JMA) head Yoshitake Yokokura one of those to cast doubt.

Kentaro Iwata, a specialist in infectious diseases, has said he feels it is “unlikely” the Games would be held just over a year from now.

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori insists it is July 2021 or nothing, insisting the Games would be “scrapped” if they cannot take place on their rescheduled dates.

IOC president Thomas Bach said:

“Nobody can at this moment in time really give you a reliable answer on how the world will look like in July 2021.

“It is too early to start speculation on different scenarios and what it may need at the time to guarantee this safe environment for all participants.”

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  1. Jason Swaim

    The only thing Tedros should be doing is resigning in shame.

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