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May 2, 2021 5 min
A leading epidemiologist has said it is morally wrong for New Zealand to take part in the Olympics.
The 2020 Olympics - delayed by one year due to the Covid-19 - are due to take place in Tokyo in July.
Many countries are planning to take part and will prioritise vaccine access to their athletes, including New Zealand and Australia.
However, many countries are struggling with slow vaccine rollouts, with many countries in Africa lagging far behind the West.
Otago University epidemiologist Michael Baker told The Weekend Collective that countries like India are struggling with deadly second waves as well. 
"The Olympics are all about celebrating this level playing field, global unity, and overcoming Covid-19. So how much global unity and overcoming Covid-19 are we seeing at the moment?"
He says it is not about the safety of New Zealand athletes, but about what it means for low-income countries that are struggling to vaccinate the general public and combat the outbreak.
"It is a matter of life or death for many countries in the world." 
Baker believes that the event needs to be postponed once again to make it fairer. He says it has been cancelled three times before due to World War One and Two - and the world is at war now, just against Covid-19.
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