August 26 2021
TOKYO – A person involved in the Tokyo Paralympics has been hospitalized with COVID-19, the games organizing committee said Thursday, the first such case linked to the event.
In confirming the hospitalization, organizers were keen to reiterate that the largest sporting event for athletes with disabilities is being held safely.
A person from overseas linked with the Paralympics, but not an athlete, has been hospitalized after testing positive on Monday for the coronavirus. The patient is not displaying severe symptoms, committee spokesman Masanori Takaya said.
The committee reported 15 more COVID-19 cases associated with the Paralympics, increasing the cumulative total since Aug. 12 to 184. The 15 included two athletes from overseas who were staying in the athletes’ village.
“We are indeed delivering a safe and secure Paralympic Games,” Takaya told a press briefing. “We cannot reduce the risks to zero, but we can minimize the risks to deliver a safe and secure games. We are responding in the most proper way to the positive cases.”
The Paralympics, involving a record 4,403 athletes from around the world, started Tuesday after the Olympics wrapped up about three weeks ago.
Tokyo and other parts of Japan have been under a COVID-19 state of emergency as the country battles an alarming rise in the number of daily infections caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Health experts have said the country’s medical system is close to a breaking point leading to more and more people having to recuperate at home due to a shortage of hospital beds.