Paralympic chief says safety of athletes, local population top priority

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International Paralympic Committee (IPC) chief Andrew Parsons said on Sunday that all necessary measures would be in place to protect not just those competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games but also the Japanese population from Covid-19 when the quadrennial showpiece starts on August 25.

“We are not going to be complacent when it comes to protecting the Paralympic and Japanese population,” said Parsons.

“We do believe that we can deliver and organise these Games in a safe manner. That is what we have been preparing for in the last 18 months since the postponement and this is what we are going to do here. Together with the Governments and Tokyo Organising Committee we will make every effort to make sure these Games can be run in a safe way for all involved, but above all to the Japanese society,” Parson was quoted as saying by insidethegames.biz.

“We would not be here if we did not think we could deliver these Games in a safe way.”

Japan has seen a huge surge in Covid-19 cases with more than 5,000 new cases being reported for the third successive day on Saturday even as the country topped 25,000 cases for the fourth consecutive day.

Some medical professionals have also called for the Games to be cancelled, but Parson said that the IPC was committed to staging a safe Paralympic Games.

“If we understood that the Games would be a threat to the Japanese population, we would not be holding them. With the experience of the Olympic Games we are convinced that we can do it for the athletes, the 1.2 billion people with disabilities but also can do it for the Japanese society.

“We are finally here in Tokyo and despite the moment we are facing in the world we are very excited with the Games here. In just two days’ time we have the opening ceremony of what will be the most important Paralympic Games ever.”

–IANS

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