Andrew Parsons is looking forward to his first Summer Paralympic Games as IPC President ©Getty Images

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons insists he is confident the Games will be delivered safely when they commence on August 24.

Parsons is overseeing his first Summer Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020, having been elected IPC President in 2017, but the comments come amid another rise in coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital.

The Brazilian is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and said the Olympic Games held in the Japanese capital from July 23 to August 8 provides a clear blueprint for the Paralympics to work from.

"With the Olympic Games, Tokyo and Japan has shown to the world that a major global sport event can be delivered safely, giving the world a much-needed morale boost," Parsons said in a pre-Paralympics message.

"For this achievement, I’d like to acknowledge the tireless work of Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and local authorities, and the IOC.

"The Games have proven that the COVID-19 countermeasures, which form the cornerstone of the playbooks, work.

"This can only give us confidence as we gear up for the Paralympic Games."

A third version of the playbooks was released by Tokyo 2020, the IOC and IPC in June, detailing COVID-19 protocols which all those involved at the Games must follow.

These include approximately 680,000 screening tests from July 1 to August 8, and around 43,000 airport tests

The playbooks also detail strict rules on wearing masks, limiting social contact and swift departures from Japan.

However, Tokyo has been reporting an increase in COVID-19 infections, and today the city once again post record figures - 5,773 new positive cases and 227 people hospitalised with severe symptoms.

Japan's daily figure of new coronavirus cases surpassed 20,000 for the first time today.

Andrews Parsons said the Tokyo 2020 Olympics provided a positive example of how the Paralympics can be held safely, and called on those involved to remain vigilant ©Getty Images
Andrews Parsons said the Tokyo 2020 Olympics provided a positive example of how the Paralympics can be held safely, and called on those involved to remain vigilant ©Getty Images

Tokyo is one of six prefectures in Japan under a state of emergency until the end of August, and Parsons is urging those involved in Paralympics to show vigilance.

"While it is encouraging that the Olympic Games were delivered safely and successfully, those attending the Paralympic Games should not get complacent," Parsons warned.

"We cannot ignore the current case numbers in Japan and Tokyo, and I urge every single stakeholder for the Paralympic Games to be vigilant and follow all measures outlined in the playbook.

"By doing this will we deliver safe Paralympic Games for all stakeholders, as well as the Japanese people."

The IPC President also expressed his excitement ahead of the start of the action, which will showcase Para athletes from almost 60 countries across 22 sports, and believes the Games will provide a significant boost to Para sport across the globe.

"With the Olympics now over, my excitement levels for the Paralympic Games are increasing by the minute, I just cannot wait to see 4,400 of the world’s greatest Para athletes take centre stage," Parsons remarked.

"During the transition period, we are working hand-in-hand with the Organising Committee to finalise several matters that are unique to the Paralympic Games.

"The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have the potential to be a game-changer not just for Japan but the wider world, in particular the 1.2 billion persons with disabilities who make up 15 percent of the global population.

"Since Tokyo won the right to stage the Games in 2013, we have been working with the Organising Committee and authorities to ensure the Paralympics can be a catalyst for change, leaving a wonderful legacy. 

"The I’mPOSSIBLE schools programme is just one such example, and I sincerely hope the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have a positive impact on Japanese children as this will go some way to a more inclusive society for years to come.”

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are scheduled to run from August 24 to September 5, with the Paralympic Torch Relay currently underway.

Parsons is expected to stand again for another term as President at the IPC General Assembly in December in Taipei City.