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First COVID-19 case found in athletes' village at Tokyo Paralympics

By
Zarrin Ahmed
The Japanese and Olympic flags are seen during the closing ceremony at Olympic Stadium on August 8. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
The Japanese and Olympic flags are seen during the closing ceremony at Olympic Stadium on August 8. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Organizers of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo said Thursday they have identified the first case of COVID-19 in the Olympic village, just days before the event is scheduled to begin.

Officials said the coronavirus case does not involve an athlete or student, but it wasn't initially clear who the patient was.

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Organizers said on Wednesday there had been more than a dozen cases related to the Paralympic Games, although none of those were found in the Olympic Village.

The case is the first in the Paralympic Village, which opened Tuesday.

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To date, organizers have reported more than 70 total cases linked in some fashion to the Games.

The first reported case in the Paralympic Village came as Tokyo and Japan continue to see record cases daily amid a recent surge driven by the Delta variant.

On Thursday, officials in Tokyo reported more than 5,500 new cases in the city, a record for a single day. Earlier this week, government officials extended a state of emergency for Tokyo to last until at least Sept. 12.

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The Paralympic Games are scheduled to run from Aug. 24 through Sept. 5. Organizers have said no spectators will be allowed at the event, a measure to mitigate coronavirus transmissions.

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The Summer Olympics, which ended earlier this month, had also barred fans from attending events. Officials said there were more than 500 COVID-19 cases related to those Games.

About 4,400 athletes and 160 teams will compete in the Paralympic Games. Each athlete is required to take daily COVID-19 tests, wear face masks and physically distance when possible.

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Tokyo Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony

Fireworks and the Japanese word for thank you, "arigato," concludes the Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on August 8. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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