A top medical organisation has thrown its weight behind calls to cancel the Tokyo Olympics saying hospitals are already overwhelmed as the country battles a spike in coronavirus infections less than three months from the start of the Games, APA reports citing Reuters.
The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association representing about 6,000 primary care doctors said hospitals in the Games host city "have their hands full and have almost no spare capacity" amid a surge in infections.
"We strongly request that the authorities convince the IOC (International Olympic Committee) that holding the Olympics is difficult and obtain its decision to cancel the Games," the association said in a May 14 open letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga which was posted to its website on Monday.
A jump in infections has stoked alarm amid a shortage of medical staff and hospital beds in some areas of the Japanese capital, promoting the government to extend the third state of emergency in Tokyo and several other prefectures until May 31.
Doctors would soon face the added difficulty of dealing with heat exhaustion patients during the summer months and if the Olympics contributed to a rise in deaths "Japan will bear the maximum responsibility", it added.
Other health experts and medical groups have voiced their concerns about the Olympics, while an online petition calling for the Games to be cancelled was signed by hundreds of thousands of people.