A Covid-19 outbreak at the Tokyo Paralympic Games became more serious after a foreign participant infected with the virus was admitted to hospital.
The news was confirmed by the Games organizing committee on Thursday, with the latest test results showing two more cases among athletes in the village, bringing the total to five in the past three days.
The patient, whose identity has not been confirmed, is the first hospitalization linked to the Paralympic Games and his symptoms are said to be “not serious”.
Tokyo 2020 said there were now a total of 13 cases inside the village, including the five athletes. The Paralympic testing program on Thursday confirmed 13 more cases outside the village, including three staff affected by the Games and 10 contractors.
With concern over the number of available hospital beds in the Japanese capital already being a political issue during the current outbreak of Covid, attention will once again shift to the Olympic and Paralympic presence in the city following the announcement. from Thursday.
The tension was not eased by the unexpected return to the country of IOC President Thomas Bach. Bach attended the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games and visited a number of Paralympic venues as part of a whistle trip this week. During the Olympics, Bach was spotted strolling through the Ginza district, with tourist activity prohibited for athletes and other participants under the Tokyo 2020 Playbook rules.
Bach’s visit was criticized in Japan, but was defended by the International Paralympic Committee. “President Bach was here at our invitation,” said IPC spokesperson Craig Spence. “Its business plan had been approved by the Japanese government. The IPC and the CIO have a very close working relationship. The Paralympic Games wouldn’t have the size or scale they are today without the support we receive [and] for the relationship we have with the IOC.