Japan’s top Covid-19 advisor has blasted International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach for returning to Tokyo to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympics.
Bach’s visit comes as the country continues expanding emergency curbs to contain the pandemic.
Shigeru Omi, chairman of a government subcommittee on the coronavirus response, criticised the decision at a parliamentary committee session.
“I wonder why he bothered to come. He should be able to judge using common sense,”, Omi stated one day after the opening ceremony of the Paralympics. “If necessary, I think he can do it online,”.
Since the Olympics began on July 23, Tokyo has seen records for daily cases of Covid-19. Health experts describe the current situation as being at “disaster level”.
The Japanese government has urged citizens to stay at home and work from home amidst escalated infection rates.
Bach arrived in Japan on Monday. Upon his last trip the IOC president’s conduct came under fire when he was spotted visiting Tokyo’s upscale shopping district, a privilege not afforded to the athletes following strict Covid-19 rules.
Pictures of Bach shopping and sightseeing circuited on social media, causing public outcry with many complaining of a double standard.