Rage in Japan as Nurses Called To Volunteer at Olympics

Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been the focus of fierce criticism from medical workers after they called for 500 nurses to volunteer at this summer’s competition.

Around 10,000 medical workers are expected to be on hand to support the Games, but despite the large number of workers available and the complex Covid-19 pandemic affecting the country and the world, organisers want to have an extra 500 workers at their disposal.

The request has sparked widespread dissatisfaction in Japanese society, reflected in thousands of messages of contempt posted on social media over the past week.

Medical workers across Japan have made no secret of their disagreement and disapproval of the request.

Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions secretary general Susumu Morita said that efforts should now be focused on mitigating the negative effects of the pandemic and not on the Olympic Games.

“We must definitely stop the proposal to send as Olympic volunteers those nurses, tasked with protecting the fight against the serious coronavirus pandemic,” Morita said.

Morita also made his anger explicit that the organisation of the Games is being put above the health and lives of patients and nurses.

On Sunday Japan reported 5,900 new cases of Covid-19, 879 of them from Tokyo. There were also a total of 69 deaths due to the virus.