The high rates of infections in Japan generate concern at the Paralympic Games that were launched in Tokyo, where the Mexican delegation will have more than 60 representatives
The Paralympic Games open in Tokyo Surrounded by restlessness due to the wave of record infections that affects Japan and that forces the event to be held within wide restrictions as already happened with the JJ. OO.
The opening ceremony of the Paralympics was held at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, more than two weeks after the closing of the Olympic Games and while the capital continues under a health emergency, like the other main regions of the country, given the continued spread of the virus.
The ones from Tokyo will be the Paralympics with the highest participation of athletes to date, some 4,400 athletes from 162 countries, although they will be tarnished by the absence of public and the strict sanitary protocol put in place to prevent infections.
CONCERN FOR PARALYMPIC ATHLETES
From Tuesday, Tokyo will become the first city to host two editions of the Paralympics, after having also hosted the 1964 Games, and on this occasion the great international festival of sport for people with disabilities will take place in unprecedented circumstances. precedents.
The Games in the Japanese capital were delayed a year due to the pandemic, and despite constant rumors about their cancellation, they have been organized in a bubble format that entails the limitation of movements for all its participants and a constant monitoring of their health .
The Paralympics will have the same sanitary protocol applied during the Olympic Games, in which although an outbreak of the virus that could endanger the competitions was prevented, more than 400 infections occurred among people participating in the event, including some thirty athletes.
In the case of parathletes, there is concern that they may be at greater risk from the virus due to underlying pathologies, something that the organizers have tried to counteract by promoting vaccination among all participants.
About 90% of athletes and heads of committees and federations have traveled to Tokyo vaccinated, according to data from the International Paralympic Committee.
The governor of the capital, Yuriko Koike, highlighted today that the sanitary measures applied during the Olympic Games “proved their effectiveness” and will allow the Paralympics to be a “wonderful” and also “safe” event for athletes.
“The parathletes have come from different parts of the world despite the pandemic and overcoming all kinds of difficulties,” said Koike, who was confident that the event that Tokyo will host until September 5 will serve to show the fruits of their efforts.
PARALYMPIC GAMES START!
🙌 The countdown ends and among multicolored lights the opening ceremony of the XVI Paralympic Games begins # Tokyo2020, the second fair that Japan hosts after 1964. Mexico 🇲🇽 goes with 60 athletes.#LeaveFootInTokyo ⛩🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/kbat8pJXbd
– CONADE (@CONADE) August 24, 2021
The impact of the pandemic and restrictions on international flights have also prevented athletes from four countries (Samoa, Kiribati, Tonga and Vanuatu) from being in Tokyo.
Afghan parathletes will also be absent due to the situation in their country after the Taliban seized power., and those of North Korea, a country that has resigned to participate in these Games citing health reasons.
THE FIGHT TO CONTAIN THE VIRUS CONTINUES
While hosting the Paralympics, Japan continues its efforts to curb the rise in infections, which have reached over 20,000 cases a day in recent days, the highest figures since the start of the pandemic.
In this context, the Japanese government decided last Tuesday to extend the state of emergency in force in Tokyo and its surroundings until mid-September and extend it to more areas, a measure that mainly entails restrictions for the activities of restaurants, bars or karaoke.
These limitations, in force since before the start of the Games in the capital at the end of July, are not enough to contain the new wave of infections caused mostly by the delta variant and that mainly affect people under 40 years of age, that have lower vaccination rates.
Japan, which began to inoculate last February giving priority to those over 65, has for now vaccinated 40.7% of its population with the full schedule, according to the latest available data.
The Asian country has 1.34 million infections and more than 15,700 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, and has most of its hospital places for covid-19 patients occupied, so there is an increasing number of sick recovering at home.
This strategy, promoted by the central government to avoid the collapse of the health system, has been criticized by health specialists for not being able to guarantee sufficient medical care for patients with moderate or severe symptoms.