Indians In Tokyo Divided Over Strict Covid-19 Regulations Imposed On Those Travelling To Japan For Olympics 2021

With the Olympics 2021 is just a few weeks away, several controversies and debates have emerged about whether the Games should be held when the world is fighting a pandemic.  

The latest debate is on the strict regulations in place for officials and athletes travelling to Tokyo from 11 countries, including India, Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, United Kingdom and Vietnam have also been directed to follow special regulations. A set of rules and regulations will have to be followed by them in the host country. 

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The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is enraged after the Japanese government ruled that its athletes and delegates from these 11 countries will have to undergo daily Cocid-19 tests for a week before they depart. They have also been directed not to interact with anyone from other countries for three days after they have arrived. 

People travelling from these 11 countries, including India, will be faced with stricter regulations as they have witnessed different variants of COVID-19 already.  

The Indian diaspora in Japan has long waited to welcome and laud the Indian athletes coming to Tokyo for the Games. With these strict regulations in place for athletes, coaches and support staff coming to Tokyo from India, a part of the Indian diaspora fears that this could lead to other kinds of discrimination within the societies, offices and schools. 

Criticising the rules, The Indian Olympic Association has said that they are “unfair and discriminatory”. 

“Stricter regulations on Indian contingent may affect their confidence levels. Also, not being able to practice for three days before the Games may jolt their performances,” India Today quoted an Indian citizen, Anurag, a resident of Japan’s Nishi Kasai area, as saying.   

However, the other half of the Indian diaspora believe that the regulations in place are justified and will help control the spread of new Covid variants in the country. 

“The rules that are laid down are for the greater good. The virulent variation of COVID in our country right now is taking lives. It is a matter of life and death and we should be very cautious of this. Guests in a house have to follow the rules of the house. Stay safe and I would like to wish India all the best for the Olympics.” said Jasbir, a resident of Nishi Kasai, Tokyo. 

The Tokyo Olympics are now knocking at our doors. Having bagged 28 medals in 31 editions of the summer Games so far, the Indians’ hopes and expectations are soaring high. 

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