Tokyo: Around 10,000 volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have quit, partly due concern over coronavirus infections, Japanese organisers said.
“There is no doubt that one of the reasons is the concern over coronavirus infections,” organising committee chief executive Toshiro Muto told reporters in Tokyo.
Olympic organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have pledged to stage safe Games through a strict hygiene protocol. But despite all the assurances, doubts and worries persist, reports DPA.
Volunteers, who make up the largest group of participants, don’t know whether they will be tested, let alone vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“There is zero information about that,” Barbara Holthus, deputy director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo, said in an interview. She has signed up as a volunteer for the Olympics.
Another reason pointed out by the organisers for the withdrawal of so many volunteers is the Games’ postponement by a year, now set to start on July 23.
Around 1,000 volunteers have also withdrawn in protest against the sexist comments by former organising committee president Yoshiro Mori, who resigned following the scandal.
The 10,000 withdrawals are from the 80,000 volunteers for the competition sites, but organisers say they don’t expect any problems because of that due to the absence of foreign fans.