Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has requested the Health Ministry to put Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian athletes on the priority list for the Covid-19 vaccination process. Rijiju wants the athletes to get the vaccine after the same has been completed for the Covid warriors.
India has already provided 11.8 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine since the initiative began in mid-January.
Health workers have been the priority group under the vaccination program, followed by other front-line workers such as the police force and the firefighters.
While attending an event in Bengaluru on Monday, Rijiju made it clear that the athletes will be at the forefront after the Covid warriors.
"When the vaccination starts for others, after Covid warriors, we want to give it to our players first, especially the Olympic-bound athletes. First of all, we have to ensure that Covid warriors get the vaccine because they are the ones who protect the society. Then the next turn will come to the athletes, we come at the last. Our athletes are in the forefront," Rijiju told ANI.
"The latest report I have received is that the Tokyo Olympics will not be postponed further" - Kiren Rijiju
Kiren Rijiju also said that as per the latest information he has received, there would be no further postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.
"The latest report I have received is that the Tokyo Olympics will not be postponed further. The Olympics is the biggest event in the world. The dates of the Olympics are sacrosanct. It is not easy to change it,” Rijiju said.
The Tokyo Olympics was originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020 but had to be postponed due to the global pandemic. This marked the first time in the history of the Olympic Games that the event has been postponed from its original slot.
The Tokyo Olympics is now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. Around 200 nations and 10,000 athletes are expected to converge in Japan later this year for the Games.