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IOC says Olympic Games will be 'safe and secure' as calls grow to cancel them amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 1:27 AM, May 19, 2021

The International Olympic Committee responded to growing calls to cancel the upcoming games reiterating they will be safe.

The IOC and local organizers in Tokyo are starting three days of meetings, some of the final days planning before they attempt to start the postponed Summer Olympics in little more than nine weeks.

Top officials are meeting widespread skepticism, with recent polling in Japan showing that 60-80% oppose holding the games.

The meetings will be headed by IOC vice president John Coates. He will attempt to again assure the Japanese population that the games will be “safe and secure.”

In a remote address on Wednesday, IOC President Thomas Bach offered to have additional medical personnel present at the games.

“For obvious reasons we cannot give them (athletes) every detail yet, but the most important principle is very clear: the Olympic Village is a safe place and the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be organized in a safe way,” Bach said.

Medical groups have also expressed strong opposition with COVID-19 far from under control in Japan, where only 1-2% of the population is fully vaccinated. Last week, a Tokyo medical association of 6,000 medical officials called for the games to be canceled in a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and other top government officials.

The Olympics are to open on July 23.