The New Zealand delegation has refused to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games on Tuesday 24 August (at 1pm in France, 8pm in Japan), in view of coronavirus readings, as announced by the Japon knows infection records.
“Our team will not assist” at the ceremony in the presence of his own “Covid-19 rules and directives, intended to ensure security” of its members “As much as possible”, announced the delegation in a communiqué on Facebook.
La Nouvelle-Zélande has launched a strategy since the beginning of the pandemic «Zero Covid», with a strict control of the frontiers and targeted confinements, and reported that 26 deaths for a population of 5 million inhabitants.
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But the country, which has been reviewing no contamination for six months, has finally drawn in place last week a national commitment to the progression of the epidemic on its sole, recognizing that its strategy was threatened by the propagation of the variant Delta, more contagious.
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The organizers of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, which lasted until September 5, were 161 cases of Covid-19 events at the event, mainly among Japanese-resident staff, but also including six sportsmen .
The only delegation not to defile
The New Zealand is the only one of the 162 delegations to the Paralympics to have confirmed reunion at the opening ceremony, the spokesman for the International Paralympic Committee, Craig Spence, told the press.
“We must respect this decision”, he said, pointing out that the team, including 32 Paralympians, had made it his wish to take all possible precautions despite the strict sanitary measures already in place.
The Paralympic Games will not escape indoors
Other countries have reduced their participation in the ceremony for various reasons including the Covid-19 or in-depth surveys. “It’s a shame, but we respect it [leur] decision and otherwise, this will probably reconnoiter the ceremony », added Craig Spence.
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Japan has known since June a fifth vague Covid-19, which has been exacerbating these recent weeks, with a new record of infections observed at the national level on Friday 20 August.