Tuesday, Jul 07, 2020 | Last Update : 04:20 PM IST

104th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra2119871152629026 Tamil Nadu114978665711571 Delhi100823720883115 Gujarat36858263231967 Uttar Pradesh2770718761785 Telangana2390212703295 Karnataka234749849372 West Bengal2212614711757 Rajasthan2026315965459 Andhra Pradesh200198920239 Haryana1750413335276 Madhya Pradesh1528411579617 Bihar12140901497 Assam11737743414 Odisha9526648648 Jammu and Kashmir84295255132 Punjab64914494132 Kerala5623334128 Chhatisgarh3207257814 Uttarakhand3161258642 Jharkhand2815204520 Goa181310617 Tripura158012061 Manipur13897330 Himachal Pradesh107074610 Puducherry101148014 Nagaland5782280 Chandigarh4874016 Arunachal Pradesh269781 Mizoram191130 Sikkim125650 Meghalaya80431
  World   Asia  13 Sep 2019  Top doctor sounds alarm over heatstroke at Tokyo 2020

Top doctor sounds alarm over heatstroke at Tokyo 2020

PTI
Published : Sep 13, 2019, 3:46 pm IST
Updated : Sep 13, 2019, 3:46 pm IST

Nagashima cautioned against the risk of communicable diseases as people fly in from around the world.

Last summer, nearly 93,000 people sought emergency care across Japan, with 159 of them dying. (Photo: Representational)
 Last summer, nearly 93,000 people sought emergency care across Japan, with 159 of them dying. (Photo: Representational)

Tokyo: One of Japan's top doctors has slammed the decision to hold the Olympics at the height of Tokyo's baking summer, warning that heatstroke will be the "biggest risk" during the Games.

In an interview with AFP, Kimiyuki Nagashima, executive board member of the Japan Medical Association, also sounded the alarm that the Olympics will stretch the country's doctors at a time when local families are most at risk from the heat.

And it's not just the heat: Nagashima cautioned against the risk of communicable diseases as people fly in from around the world and gather en masse.

Measles is thought to be a particular risk as many Japanese are not adequately vaccinated as children. "My personal opinion as an individual is that sporting events should be held in a comfortable environment. I don't think it is agreeable to hold it at an inappropriate period at an inappropriate location due to business and economic concerns," he said. The sweaty Tokyo summer is "generally speaking not a suitable place" for outdoor sports and for their spectators, added the doctor, an orthopaedic surgeon who oversees the association's sports medicine activities. In the city's bidding document to win the Games, Tokyo said the competition period between July 24 and August 9, followed by Paralympic Games, "provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform at their best" with "many days of mild and sunny weather."

However, last summer, nearly 93,000 people sought emergency care across Japan, with 159 of them dying. Most of these cases took place during the time the summer Olympics will take place.

"From the start, we have seen heatstroke as the biggest risk factor for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as far as health goes," Nagashima said. - Humidity 'extremely high' - The 1964 Tokyo Olympics were held in October to avoid the heat of the summer and the issue has quickly become the major headache for organisers, who have otherwise won praise for their preparations.

Organisers have brought forward the start time for several events including the marathon and rolled out a variety of anti-heat measures including artificial snow.

However, recent test events did little to cool fears, with a French triathlete treated for heatstroke and several spectators taken ill at a rowing trial.

Many test events took place under conditions regarded as "dangerous" for exercise, according to the internationally accepted WBGT index that measures heat and humidity.

Nagashima said he had urged organisers to think beyond the Games and be "fully considerate" that medical emergencies during the competition will divert resources away from locals at a critical time.

"Japan's heat is not just about the high temperature. Humidity is extremely high... This means a higher risk of getting sick than in other countries," he said.

But given that Japan is determined to host the event, the nation must prepare itself and offer visitors advice to stay healthy, the doctor said.

"There are steps you can take to avoid heatstroke. Please learn about heatstroke. Take preventative measures. Then please come to Japan and enjoy the Olympics in comfort," he said.

Tags: heatstroke, olympics, tokyo 2020
Location: Japan, Tokyo-to