Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike lights to the Paralympic torch throughout an arrival ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic flame of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay at Tokyo Metropolitan Yoyogi Park Athletic Observe – Oda Area, earlier than the opening ceremony of the summer time video games in Tokyo, Japan August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato
August 24, 2021
TOKYO (Reuters) – The 2020 Paralympic Video games will kick off in Tokyo with the opening ceremony on Tuesday as Japan struggles with its worst COVID-19 outbreak to date, document day by day instances and an overwhelmed medical system.
The organisers admitted final week that the Paralympics will likely be held beneath “very tough” circumstances https://www.reuters.com/way of life/sports activities/organisers-say-situation-very-difficult-hospitals-stretched-by-covid-cases-2021-08-20 as Japan’s well being scenario has worsened because the Olympic Video games ended on Aug. 8 and hospitals within the host metropolis are stuffed to capability.
The Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan authorities appealed https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-asks-tokyo-hospitals-accept-more-covid-19-patients-2021-08-23 on Monday to hospitals within the capital to just accept extra COVID-19 sufferers as rising infections have made entry to care more and more tough.
“I’m just a little involved about holding the Paralympic Video games. Nonetheless, I hope the athletes will do their finest,” mentioned 52-year-old workplace employee Chika Sasagawa.
Whereas the variety of athletes and officers travelling from overseas is lower than a 3rd of that throughout the Olympics, Japan reported greater than 25,000 day by day instances on three days final week, up from lower than 15,000 when the Olympics ended earlier this month.
Organisers of the Paralympics, which can happen between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5, have mentioned they plan to implement the identical COVID-19 protocols or “playbook” as those used throughout the Olympics.
Frequent testing and different restrictions, reminiscent of limiting the motion of athletes and officers, proved to be efficient in minimising an infection dangers throughout the Video games, they’ve added.
Just like the Olympics, the Paralympics may also happen usually with out spectators and organisers have requested the home Video games officers to keep away from consuming out or ingesting in teams.
Olympic organisers reported 404 Video games-related infections https://www.reuters.com/way of life/sports activities/tokyo-has-shown-pandemic-can-be-beaten-games-health-adviser-says-2021-08-07. They carried out near 600,000 screening checks with an an infection fee of 0.02%.
Japan has prolonged https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-set-extend-covid-19-state-emergency-lockdown-sept-12-2021-08-17 COVID-19 emergency measures within the capital and different areas that may run by means of the Video games.
About 88% of hundreds of athletes and officers attending the Video games have been vaccinated, the Worldwide Paralympic Committee spokesperson Craig Spence has mentioned, although plenty of native volunteers are but to be totally vaccinated.
“In comparison with the Olympics, the COVID infections have unfold additional now. I’ve many issues however I imagine that Japan as a number nation is making all of the efforts in order that athletes can compete safely within the Video games,” mentioned Tokyo resident Kana Matsuyama, 45.
The Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is scheduled to attend Tuesday’s opening ceremony.
(Reporting by Irene Wang and Chris Gallagher; Enhancing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)