Tokyo organisers discard Sh5m worth of medical gear


Tokyo organisers discard Sh5m worth of medical gear
A girl runs past Olympic rings and the logo of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Tokyo, Japan, August 16, 2021. Picture taken August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

In Summary

  • Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics discarded 5 million yen ($45,508) worth of surgical masks, gowns, and disinfectant after the Games, held practically with no fans amid the pandemic, left much of that medical equipment unused, media said on Tuesday
  • The Asahi daily quoted an organising committee official as saying 33,000 masks, 3,420 gowns and 380 bottles of disinfectant were discarded when they closed down operations at some of the venues used for the Olympics, which ran from July 23 to Aug. 8

Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics discarded Sh5 million worth of surgical masks, gowns, and disinfectant after the Games, held practically with no fans amid the pandemic, left much of that medical equipment unused, media said on Tuesday.

The Asahi daily quoted an organising committee official as saying 33,000 masks, 3,420 gowns and 380 bottles of disinfectant were discarded when they closed down operations at some of the venues used for the Olympics, which ran from July 23 to Aug. 8.

The revelation was embarrassing for organisers as they have long pitched Tokyo 2020 as a sustainable Games. They came under fire last month for ordering too much food for their staff during the opening ceremony, leading to a massive waste of food.

“When we withdrew from the venues, there was no place to store unused consumables,” the Asahi quoted Tokyo 2020 executive director of operations Satoshi Yamashita as saying.

“We are sorry we ended up discarding them even though we had known there was going to be surplus.”

Tokyo organisers said in a statement some of the medical consumables left after the Games were discarded, without specifying their amount or value. Officials at the organising committee were not immediately available to comment.

With the Paralympics underway until Sunday, the organisers plan to hold onto unused consumables from now on for possible donation, the Asahi said.

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