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Passing the baton of medical disaster preparedness advice from city medical supervisors of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to future host medical organisers
  1. Soichiro Kato1,2,
  2. Yoshitaka Inoue1,3,
  3. Yoshihiro Yamaguchi1,2
  1. 1 The Tokyo 2020 Games City Operation Center, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2 Department of Trauma and Critical Care Medicine, Kyorin University Faculty of Medicine, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan
  3. 3 Department of Trauma and Emergency Acute Medicine, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, Hidaka, Saitama, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Soichiro Kato; soichiro-kato{at}

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Globally, mass gathering events are always a challenge for the host city because of the threats of man-made or natural disasters, which include the outbreaks of infectious diseases.1 The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOPG 2020) became an unusual historic event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced its postponement for 1 year. It was held later in 2021 summer amidst a declaration of a state of emergency,2 3 where the serious shortfall of medical human resources of various specialties adversely affected the medical preparedness and response for the event.

In connection with the Olympic health legacy concept, this article aims to share the knowledge and related experiences of city medical care coordinators during TOPG 2020 with the organisers of future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Setting the scene

With an approximate population of 14 million, Tokyo is the largest city in Japan with 28 advanced emergency medical institutions. Because of the widespread fifth wave of COVID-19 in Japan, its capacity for medical care was already compromised before TOPG 2020 started.2 3 The emergency medical personnel in Tokyo provided the ‘last mile’ medical care to the TOPG 2020 clients, besides attending to seriously ill patients.

During the organisation of any large-scale mass gathering event, health administrators in the host city must maintain regular medical care provision with a capacity to respond to emergent issues like infectious disease outbreaks, accidents, natural disasters and terrorist/criminal actions.1 4 Furthermore, it is vital to consider the local weather/climate/season situation of the host city for the medical disaster preparedness planning for events.1 5 We ensured these factors for TOPG 2020 as …

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  • Contributors SK served as the primary author and was responsible for all aspects of the manuscript, including figure creation, review, editing and final preparation. SK and YY conceptualised and supervised this paper. SK and YI wrote the initial draft. All authors contributed, reviewed and edited the final manuscript draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.