Tokyo Paralympics Flame ceremony begins in Japan | Business Upturn

Tokyo Paralympics Flame ceremony begins in Japan

Fire ceremonies for the Tokyo Paralympics have begun, amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases that may threaten to derail the event.

The fire ceremonies for the Paralympics have begun in Japan, amidst rising COVID-19 cases and doubt about whether spectators will be allowed to watch the games or not.

The fire ceremonies won’t be traditional, as instead of a relay on a public road, “torch kiss” Paralympic fire lighting events will take place in all towns and cities of Japan. The flame will be transferred from torch to torch. Similar to the Olympics, this event too won’t have any spectators, as reported by the media in Japan. An official decision will be announced next week.

The flames will be brought to Tokyo but there are no plans of having any spectators on the route of the relay. Tokyo Metropolitan Government official Koichi Osakabe has said that they had planned to hold the Paralympic torch relay in Tokyo with some 700 torchbearers but couldn’t due to the current state of emergency.

Tokyo and five other regions are currently under a state of emergency due to the virus. All bars and restaurants are advised to close after 8. These emergency procedures will be in force till the end of August. Similar procedures are being enforced in other parts of Japan too.

The pandemic had a lesser impact on Japan compared to other nations but the spike in cases is being driven by the Delta variant which is known to be highly infectious and is spreading around the world. Tono, a remote city in Japan’s northern Iwate region, had opened their fire ceremony to the people and was expecting around 50 people, which includes the officials.

The Paralympics begin on the 24th of August. Around 4,000 Paralympians and 12,000 officials, staff and media persons will travel to Tokyo for the games.

At the Olympic Games, around 511 positive cases were detected. This included a cluster of cases coming from the Greek Swimming Team. The government reiterated that it was not a cause for concern and denied it being linked to rising cases in the capital but experts say that this has indeed undermined the government’s message about the pandemic. What the future holds for the Paralympics is something that we have to see.