Hundreds of boxes full of unused coronavirus-related medical goods for the Tokyo Olympics, including gloves, gowns and masks, worth a total of 5 million yen ($45,000), were found to have been thrown away, the games' organizing committee said Tuesday.
The committee apologized for the mismanagement as the items, supplied to the medical offices of nine venues, could have been transferred to facilities battling with an alarming rise in COVID-19 infections in Tokyo and other parts of Japan.
The medical supplies were left over partly because the Olympics, which ended Aug. 8, were held without spectators at almost all venues, officials of the committee said.
The officials said they had discarded the supplies as they could not find places to keep them. The disposal was found on Sunday in the process of cleaning and closing four venues in Tokyo and five others in Hokkaido, Fukushima, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, they said.
Of the 52,200 gowns procured, some 3,400 were discarded. The venues had 5,600 boxes of masks each containing 50 pieces and 5,200 bottles of hand disinfectants, out of which 660 and 380 were dumped, respectively, according to the officials.
"We did not instruct each venue what to do in advance," said one of the officials, admitting it was the organizing body's mishandling.
The committee provided medical supplies unused at some other venues for free to facilities dealing with COVID-19 patients, they said, adding that it will prevent recurrences of such mistakes after the 13-day Tokyo Paralympics close on Sunday.