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Brief Report

COVID-19 and Heat Illness in Tokyo, Japan: Implications for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021

1
Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK
2
Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE, UK
3
Graduate School of Public Health, St. Luke’s International University, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, University College London, London EC1E 7HB, UK
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Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK
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Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
7
Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jianyong Wu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073620
Received: 18 February 2021 / Revised: 27 March 2021 / Accepted: 29 March 2021 / Published: 31 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Outbreak of a Novel Coronavirus: A Global Health Threat)
The 2020 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo were postponed to July–September 2021 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. While COVID-19 has emerged as a monumental health threat for mass gathering events, heat illness must be acknowledged as a potentially large health threat for maintaining health services. We examined the number of COVID-19 admissions and the Tokyo rule for emergency medical care, in Tokyo, from March to September 2020, and investigated the weekly number of emergency transportations due to heat illness and weekly averages of the daily maximum Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) in Tokyo in the summer (2016–2020). The peak of emergency transportations due to heat illness overlapped the resurgence of COVID-19 in 2020, and an increase of heat illness patients and WBGT has been observed. Respect for robust science is critical for the decision-making process of mass gathering events during the pandemic, and science-based countermeasures and implementations for COVID-19 will be warranted. Without urgent reconsiderations and sufficient countermeasures, the double burden of COVID-19 and heat-related illnesses in Tokyo will overwhelm the healthcare provision system, and maintaining essential health services will be challenging during the 2021 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; heat illness; mass gathering; health systems; health security; health services; risk assessment COVID-19; pandemic; heat illness; mass gathering; health systems; health security; health services; risk assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shimizu, K.; Gilmour, S.; Mase, H.; Le, P.M.; Teshima, A.; Sakamoto, H.; Nomura, S. COVID-19 and Heat Illness in Tokyo, Japan: Implications for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3620. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073620

AMA Style

Shimizu K, Gilmour S, Mase H, Le PM, Teshima A, Sakamoto H, Nomura S. COVID-19 and Heat Illness in Tokyo, Japan: Implications for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(7):3620. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073620

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shimizu, Kazuki, Stuart Gilmour, Hiromi Mase, Phuong M. Le, Ayaka Teshima, Haruka Sakamoto, and Shuhei Nomura. 2021. "COVID-19 and Heat Illness in Tokyo, Japan: Implications for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 7: 3620. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073620

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