Bach returns to Japan for Tokyo Paralympics

Tokyo, Aug 23 (EFE).- The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, returned to Japan on Monday to attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

All participants, including athletes and other personnel arriving from overseas, are required to undergo at least three days of strict quarantine and be under restricted movement for the duration of the Games, but an exception will be made in case of Bach so that he can attend the opening ceremony on Tuesday.

The IOC chief landed at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport shortly before 8 am and was photographed hours later greeting and chatting with volunteers upon his arrival at the hotel on the manmade island of Odaiba in the Tokyo Bay.

Bach returned to Japan a week after the arrival of the president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Andrew Parsons, who met Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike on Monday.

Both acknowledged the challenges of holding the event but said they looked forward to seeing athletes from all over the world performing, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Parsons said that the IPC is committed to fully implementing anti-Covid-19 measures and added that it will remain vigilant until the last day of the competition and until the athletes and other participants return to their respective countries amid concerns about the coronavirus situation in the country.

Japan is experiencing its worst Covid-19 wave since the start of the pandemic and hospitals in many areas, including Tokyo, are overwhelmed.

This has led to concerns about the holding of the event and among athletes, who in many cases are at risk of developing serious symptoms of the disease due to pre-existing medical conditions.

Tokyo 2020 organizers have detected a total of 144 Covid-19 infections linked to the Paralympics up till Monday, including five athletes, although most of the cases have been detected in participants living in Japan. EFE


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