Tokyo Olympics have shown pandemic can be beaten: Health expert

“The Olympics in Tokyo had shown that measures such as social distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitising along with testing and tracing worked when implemented as a package,” said McCloskey.
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Tokyo, Aug 7 : A health adviser for the Tokyo Olympics said on Saturday that the ongoing Games had shown the COVID-19 pandemic could be beaten.

He also said that it would provide data to help countries around the world battle the coronavirus.

“We have shown it is possible to keep a pandemic at bay and that is a very important lesson from Tokyo to the rest of the world. This has been, as promised, a safe and secure Games,” said Brian McCloskey, the chair of the Tokyo Olympics Games’ Independent Expert Panel, in a press briefing on Saturday.

He added, “What Tokyo has just done in a historic way is prove that that advice is the right advice. And by following basic public health measures and by layering on top of that the testing program, we have shown it is possible to keep the pandemic at bay.”

He felt that the playbooks that everyone — from athletes to officials to media — were required to follow, has helped in containing the virus in the Olympic bubble. The playbook had rules regarding COVID-19 prevention measures of distancing, mask usage and hygiene.

“The Olympics in Tokyo had shown that measures such as social distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitising along with testing and tracing worked when implemented as a package,” said McCloskey.

Earlier, the organisers of the showpiece event said that they had recorded 404 Games-related COVID-19 cases since July 1. They carried out close to 600,000 screening tests with the infection rate of 0.02%. Only 29 athletes tested positive for the virus in Tokyo.

“What is important is the core message from the (World Health Organization) and other agencies that the way you manage this pandemic is through basic public health measures and a good testing regime,” McCloskey said.

“We’ve proved that works,” he affirmed, adding that collected data will be provided to the rest of the world to cope with the pandemic.

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