September 26, 2021

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New Zealand will skip the Paralympic Games opening ceremony for fear of Kovit-19

New Zealand will skip the Paralympic Games opening ceremony for fear of Kovit-19

First change:

Tokyo Airport (AFP)

The New Zealand delegation has resigned from attending the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo on Tuesday night.

Delegates announced in a statement on Facebook that “our team will not attend the ceremony” due to “rules and guidelines related to Govt-19” aimed at ensuring the safety of “its members” as much as possible.

Since the onset of the epidemic, New Zealand has used a “zero govt” strategy, with strict border controls and selective imprisonment, and has recorded only 26 deaths per 5 million population.

Organizers of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, which runs until September 5, have so far registered 161 Covit-19 cases related to the event, mainly among staff living in Japan, but all six athletes are included.

International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence told reporters on Tuesday that New Zealand was the only country out of the 162 delegates to attend the Paralympics.

“We must respect this decision,” Spence said, adding that the team of 32 Paralympians expressed their willingness to take all precautionary measures, despite the stringent health measures already in place.

Since June, Japan has experienced the fifth Kovit-19 wave, which has worsened in recent weeks, with a new record for epidemics across the country on Friday.

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