Paralympic Games 2021: a first case of Covid-19 identified in the athletes’ village

Organizers have so far reported 74 cases of coronavirus linked to the Paralympic Games.

 first case of Covid-19 has been identified in the Paralympic Village, the organizers of the Tokyo Paralympic Games announced Thursday, August 19, five days before the opening of the event. Japan is currently facing record numbers of infections.

The person concerned is a member of staff related to the Games and does not reside in Japan, the organizers said without giving further details. Organizers have so far reported 74 cases of coronavirus linked to the Paralympic Games, which are scheduled to take place from August 24 to September 5, mostly among employees and contractors residing in Japan.

New contamination record

Six other cases have been reported by local communities hosting Paralympic teams training before the Games. No case had yet been reported in the Paralympic Village, open since Tuesday. The organizers of the Olympics, which closed on August 8, felt they had succeeded in preventing a major spread of infections thanks to their strict health measures.

To date, 546 positive cases related to the Olympics have been identified, and some experts felt on the contrary that the holding of the Games was in contradiction with the government’s message on the health situation and had contributed to the increase in infections in the country. The daily cases of Covid-19, which continue to increase in the Archipelago, reached a new record on Wednesday with nearly 24,000 cases nationwide.

Faced with this new wave of infections that has affected the country since June, the state of emergency in force since July in part of Japan was extended Tuesday to 13 departments, including Tokyo, and extended until September 12.

A first coronavirus case has been detected in the Paralympic Village, days before the Games open, organisers said Thursday as Japan battles a record wave of infections.

The case involves a Games-related member of staff who is not resident in Japan, according to organisers, who did not give further details.

Organisers have so far reported 74 cases linked to the Paralympics, mostly among contractors and Games staff who live in Japan. Another six cases have been reported by local areas hosting teams for training camps.

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There have not yet been infections reported among athletes in the Village, which opened to Paralympians on Tuesday.

The Paralympics open on August 24, with around 4,400 athletes from approximately 160 teams set to take part.

They begin around two weeks after the Olympics ended, with organisers saying they were able to prevent any major spread of infection through tough anti-virus measures.

So far 546 positive cases linked to the Olympics have been reported, and some experts have argued that holding the Games undermined the government’s messaging on virus rules and contributed to a surge in domestic infections.

In recent days, Japan has recorded more than 20,000 daily virus cases, more than ever before, and the government has expanded and extended virus states of emergency to cover 13 regions until September 12.

The measure largely shortens restaurant and bar opening hours and bans them from selling alcohol, but experts have questioned the efficacy of the restrictions with cases continuing to rise.

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