Paralympics: Organisers Say COVID-19 Situation In Japan Is Very Difficult

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Athletes participating in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics arrive at Narita Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture on August 17, 2021. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT

The Tokyo Paralympics will take place in “very tough” conditions, according to organizers, with hospitals in the host city already overburdened as Japan faces its worst wave of COVID-19 infections, driven by the Delta variety.

With less than a week to the commencement of the Paralympics, a Tokyo hospital turned down the organizers’ request to take emergency cases from the Games, preferring to treat COVID-19 patients from Japan.

“Given the medical scenario, we can’t help but say the Paralympics will be held in the midst of a very challenging situation,” Tokyo 2020 Games delivery officer Hidemasa Nakamura said at a press briefing.
“What do we do if a patient becomes very ill, given the limited number of hospital beds available? We need to have a contact flow in place, and that contact flow should include hospitals and medical facilities,” Nakamura noted.

COVID-19 protocols will be utilized for the Paralympics, according to organizers, which is the same “playbook” that was used for the Olympics, which finished earlier this month. They stated that frequent testing and other restrictions, such as limiting the movement of players and officials, have been shown to reduce infection risks.

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The health situation in Japan has worsened, with record-high daily case numbers being reported, despite the fact that the number of athletes and officials traveling from abroad is less than a third of what it was during the Olympics.

Nakamura urged domestic Games officials to avoid eating out or drinking in groups, and he promised that local participants would be thoroughly tested.
Japan has extended COVID-19 emergency measures in the city and other areas for the duration of the Games, and the Paralympics, like the Olympics, will be held largely without spectators from August 24 to September 5.

On Friday, a total of 12 additional cases were confirmed among paralympic athletes, including one athlete, according to Tokyo 2020 organizers.

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