A few days before the opening of the Paralympics in Tokyo, there is the first corona case in the athletes' village.

The organizing committee announced on Thursday.

The person who tested positive for the virus was not an athlete.

The Paralympics are set to begin next Tuesday under strict security precautions, while the Japanese capital is still in a state of emergency due to the alarming number of infections.

The Paralympics will therefore be held without spectators, just like the Olympic Games before.

An exception is made for schoolchildren as part of an education program run by the Japanese government. You can watch competitions if the local school authorities so wish in consultation with the parents. As reported by the local media, citing the city government, several municipalities and city schools have expressed the wish that a total of around 132,000 of their students can watch events in arenas. In the culture committee, however, there were votes against.

The opposition politician Ichiro Ozawa was indignant on Twitter about the attitude of the government and city administration: "Are they still in their right mind?" The children could eventually carry the virus into their families, Ozawa wrote, referring to the government's appeals to citizens to stay at home if possible during the emergency.

Meanwhile, the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Andrew Parsons, described the Paralympics in Tokyo on Thursday as "the most important" in history. They would give a voice to people with disabilities amid the pandemic. He affirmed that the Paralympics with around 4400 athletes can take place "safely". "People with disabilities are disproportionately affected by the pandemic worldwide," said Parsons. Societies around the world have failed to protect these people from the pandemic.

The number of new infections in Tokyo has almost tripled since the beginning of the Olympic Games, although the Olympic bubble is said to have posed no danger. On Wednesday, the city administration reported 5,386 new infections within 24 hours, the second highest level since the outbreak of the pandemic. Six people died. Experts compare the situation to a disaster. The health authorities are now on the attack.

On Thursday, the NHK TV station reported on the case of a heavily pregnant corona patient who had to give birth to her child prematurely at home because no hospital could be found. Her baby was taken to a clinic but died. The case caused horror and outrage on the Internet. "Something like that shouldn't happen," wrote someone angrily on Twitter. If there is money and manpower to host the Olympic Games and the Paralympics, then the health system should be strengthened, it said.

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