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Australia prioritizes vaccinating athletes for Tokyo games

Sydney (Australia), Apr 28 (EFE) .- The Australian Government will prioritize the vaccination of more than 2,000 athletes and technical and support personnel who will participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, which will be held in July and August.

“We want our athletes who are going to compete in Tokyo to return safely to Australia,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said Tuesday night in a joint statement with Sports Head Richard Colbert, giving to know the decision of the national Cabinet, which includes federal and regional authorities.

The immunization of athletes from next week, most of whom would have to be vaccinated a few months later, is “a great relief” for them and their families and will allow them “to concentrate on the games,” said the executive director of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), Matt Carroll.

Carroll explained to the local network ABC that the AOC is willing to negotiate the conditions for athletes to comply with the mandatory quarantines on their return to Australia, a country that has kept its international borders closed since March 2020, with some exceptions.

Australia, which has managed the covid-19 pandemic well, faces delays in its vaccination plan, which began at the end of February and expected to end at the end of October, due to problems in importing doses, floods and side effects.

To date, the Australian authorities have administered two million doses of vaccines against covid-19 to the 25 million citizens of the oceanic country, which since the beginning of the pandemic accumulates 29,700 infections, including 910 deaths, most of them them for the second wave, which began in mid-2020 in the city of Melbourne.

Currently, Australians live a normal practice and sporadic outbreaks of coronavirus are due to failures in the quarantine centers for international travelers.

On Tuesday, the country suspended flights to India until May 15 due to the serious health crisis in that country.

(c) EFE Agency

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