Possibility of some children attending a few events
All fans will be barred from the Paralympics in Japan because of the coronavirus pandemic, just as they were from the recently-completed Tokyo Olympics, organisers said Monday.
There were a few exceptions made during the Olympics with some fans allowed in outlying areas away from Tokyo.
This time, all fans will be barred except the possibility of some children attending a few unspecified events. Organisers have also asked the public not to come out to view road events.
The decision was announced after a meeting with International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons, organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa.
The Paralympics opens on August 24 with about 4,400 athletes, a far smaller event than the Olympics with 11,000 athletes.
But the Paralympics come as new infections have accelerated in Tokyo, which may expose an athlete population that is more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Parsons, speaking at a news conference, said there was no room for complacency in the wake of the Olympics.
"In light of the current case numbers in Tokyo and wider Japan, everyone attending these games must be vigilant,” Parsons said.
New infections in Tokyo tripled during the 17 days of the Olympics, although medical experts said the surge was not directly linked the Tokyo Games.
Rather, experts suggested an indirect effect as the public was distracted and lulled into a false sense of security that staging the Games offered.
With the situation growing worse, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday said a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas will be extended until Sept. 12. The state of emergency has been in force since July 12 and was to end later this month. The Paralympics end on Sept. 5.
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