Kentaro Iwata, a professor of infectious disease at Kobe University,
said on his blog on Thursday that it's not clear that the outbreak
in Japan will have subsided by the planned start of the Games in
July. Also, the flood of foreign visitors could exacerbate the
spread of the disease, known as COVID-19.
Japanese government officials have said the Olympics will go ahead
as scheduled and will not be held behind closed doors.
"The Olympics are not just a mass gathering, but a mass gathering
from all over the world, while COVID is a global pandemic," Iwata
wrote. "These two things don't go together."
Iwata boarded the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in
February and his YouTube videos decrying the conditions there
garnered more than a million views.
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Iwata said that bureaucrats, and not infectious disease professionals, were
running the quarantine, and that basic protocols on zoning and the use of
protective gear were not followed.
Japan has recorded more than 1,600 cases of the virus, including about 700 from
the Diamond Princess. Thirty nine people have died, including seven from the
The virus has spread around the world, with more than 218,000 confirmed cases
and 8,900 deaths.
(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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