Foreign participant at Paralympics admitted to hospital with Covid

Latest test results report two more cases amongst athletes in the village, bringing the total to five in the past three days

A masked security guard at the Paralympic Games  in Chiba, Japan. Photograph:  Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

A masked security guard at the Paralympic Games in Chiba, Japan. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

 

An outbreak of Covid-19 at the Tokyo Paralympics has grown in severity after a foreign participant infected with the virus was admitted to hospital.

The news was confirmed by the Games’ organising committee on Thursday as the latest test results reported two more cases amongst 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 hospitalisation connected with the Paralympics, and their symptoms are reported to be “non-severe”.

Tokyo 2020 said there has now been a total of 13 cases inside the village, including the five athletes. The Paralympic testing programme confirmed another 13 cases outside of the village on Thursday too, including three Games-concerned personnel and 10 contractors.

With concern over the number of hospital beds available in the Japanese capital already a political issue during the current Covid surge, there will be renewed focus on the Olympic and Paralympic presence in the city following Thursday’s news.

Tension has not been eased by the unexpected return to the country of the IOC president Thomas Bach. Bach attended the Paralympic opening ceremony and visited a number of Paralympic venues in a whistle-stop stay this week. During the Olympics Bach had been spotted walking round the district of Ginza, with sightseeing an activity that is forbidden for athletes and other participants under the Tokyo 2020 playbook rules.

Defended

Bach’s visit has been criticised in Japan, but was defended by the International Paralympic Committee.

“President Bach was here at our invitation,” IPC spokesman Craig Spence said. “His activity plan had been approved by the Japanese government. The IPC and the IOC have a very close working relationship. The Paralympic Games wouldn’t be the size or scale that it is today if it wasn’t for the support that we get [and] for the relationship we have with the IOC.” – Guardian

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