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TOKYO - The Tokyo Paralympics open Tuesday after a year-long pandemic delay and with the virus continuing to cast a long shadow as Japan battles a record surge in cases.
As at the Olympics, the event will be marked by strict virus rules, with almost all spectators banned and tough restrictions on athletes and other participants.
While a swell of domestic support emerged during the Olympics after months of negative polls, there is deep concern in Japan as the Paralympics approach with the country going through a fifth virus wave.
More than 25,000 new cases were recorded on Thursday, and medics across the country have warned hospitals are at breaking point with serious cases also at record highs.
It's a challenging environment for the most important sports event for disabled athletes, and International Paralympic Committee chief Andrew Parsons has warned participants against complacency.
Despite the backdrop, IPC officials insist the reach of the event will be "incredible.""Of course, the fact that we will not have spectators at the venues is a challenge," Parsons told AFP in an interview. "But we believe we will reach more than 4 billion people through broadcasting."A
A woman walks past a sign of the 2020 Paralympics Image source: voavoa
Local officials say the Games can be held safely, with athletes and other participants subject to the same anti-infection rules that applied to the Olympics.
Competitors can only enter the Paralympic Village shortly before their event and must leave within 48 hours of the end of their competition.
They will be tested daily and limited to moving between training venues, competition sites and the Village.
The measures are intended to prevent the Games from becoming a superspreader event -- and officials say the Olympics proved the restrictions work.
There were 552 positive cases linked to the Olympics reported from July 1 until Sunday, the majority among Japan residents employed by the Games or working as contractors.
So far, 138 cases related to the Paralympics have been confirmed, also mostly among Japan-based Olympic officials, though at least four athletes have also tested positive.
But Olympic officials say there is no evidence of infection spreading from the Games to the rest of Japan, where case numbers were already on the rise.
Still organizers acknowledge the worsening environment.
"The infection situation today is different to how it was before the Olympics. It has deteriorated," said Tokyo 2020 official Hidemasa Nakamura on Friday. "And the local medical system is also in a very tight situation."
The virus surge has caused tensions, with some local regions and schools cancelling planned trips to Games events despite support for the programme from Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.
The mood among Paralympians remains buoyant though, after the uncertainties of the year-long delay.
"It's our time to take aim at gold!" tweeted U.S. archer Matt Stutzman, a Paralympic silver medalist who uses the handle "Armless Archer."
Stutzman is among those likely to be making an appearance on the medal podium during the Games, which will see 4,400 athletes from around 160 national teams competing.
There are 22 sports, with athletes competing in different categories and classes depending on the nature of their disability. Badminton and taekwondo are appearing for the first time.
Top names include Germany's Markus Rehm, dubbed the "Blade Jumper" for his gravity-defying feats in long jump, which have earned him three gold medals and a bronze.
He has pushed to be included in the Olympics, but so far without success over concerns that his prosthetic blade gives him an advantage.
Other household names include Tatyana McFadden, the American wheelchair racer who will be competing in her fifth summer Paralympics.
She also appeared at the Sochi Winter Games, where she won a silver medal in the country where she was born, as her adoptive U.S. mother and Russian birth mother cheered her on.
Japan will be hoping it can repeat the gold rush that saw it bring home a record 58 gold Olympic medals.
Among its top medal hopes is Shingo Kuneida, the reigning world No. 1 wheelchair men's single champion and considered one of the greatest figures in the sport. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Tokyo Olympics, Paralympics, Sports
By Prerana Agarwal Saxena
Choose locally sourced material to uplift artisans
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. With the use of locally sourced materials and local artisans coming into play, the wedding instantly becomes sustainable. Include the work of local vendors ensure minimal packaging requirements, thus saving on unnecessary plastic and lamination. It also decreases the need for transporting elements from other cities and hence lowers the carbon footprint. For instance, at one of our weddings, we made use of sand art for a setup in Jodhpur. This helped promote local work while also being environmentally friendly with zero wastage of other materials. In another instance from Rajasthan, the traditional glass-blown technique was used to build decor items while giving a cultural touch to the destination wedding.
Say yes to recycling
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. It can be a small step such as making a conscious switch from plastic water bottles to copper jugs or glass bottles. Also use artificial floral decor thus minimising the wastage produced from real flowers. This recyclable decor is then donated to various NGOs, further ensuring sustainable use of resources. Such steps, however small they might be, keep the environment free from the release of any additional carbon footprint.
Make use of fabric as it enhances the elegance of the wedding while being sustainable. Include vibrant colours apt to the theme of the wedding and bring in bright sprightliness with breathable fabrics. Ensure to include LED lights for lighting. They can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. They also help conserve energy and bring in soulful energy for nighttime decor. Choose virtual invitations, keeping up with the digital times. Make a conscious choice of plated dinner menus rather than a buffet as they allow less wastage of food and ensure enough food for guests in attendance.
Include Sustainable Gifting
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. Offering a plant or a succulent, is a great idea. One can also gift recycled organic fabrics and cutlery or zero-waste kitchen and bathroom essentials to use in their homes as some distinct gifting options.
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. | Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
By applying the values of sustainability, you can reduce the energy consumed and the resources used as much as possible. Go ahead and have a luxurious zero-waste wedding and navigate into the world of green living! (IANS/ MBI)
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. Regular vaccination will resume after the vaccine supplies arrive from New Delhi, officials said. The state health department had expected to vaccinate 15 lakh people on Sunday in 18,824 centres spread across primary health centres, anganwadis, noon meal centres, government hospitals, schools and some auditoriums.
Of the 16,43,879 people who were inoculated, a total of 10,85,097 received their first dose and 5,58,782 their second dose of vaccine, the statement said, A total of 9,66,568 people in the age group of 18-44 were vaccinated on Sunday and vaccines were administered on 5,02,578 people aged between 45- 59 in the mega vaccine camps.
State health minister Ma Subramanian, who inaugurated the vaccination at Pollachi, also visited the centres in six districts -- Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Dharmapuri and Salem. The state government, according to the health minister, is to receive the next allotment of vaccines on September 21. Minister while speaking to IANS said, "We will be receiving the next allotment of vaccines on September 21 itself and we will resume vaccinations immediately. The state has already touched one crore vaccine-mark in the month of September till date." (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: COVID, vaccine, vaccination camp, Tamil Nadu, India, vaccinated, mega camp
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. The right way to achieve this celebrity look is to focus on accentuating your lips and keeping the rest of the face minimal. Give your lips a good scrub to plump them, moisturize and follow it up with a red lip liner to define the shape of your lips. Now go on with the perfect shade of red and finish your look with a slick of eyeliner, minimal concealer, and foundation.
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. | Photo by Ina Garbé on Unsplash
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look. This natural beauty does a wonderful job of achieving the minimal soft look by softly cover any dark spots or blemishes and highlighting features she's most proud of. To achieve this start with concealer and use small dots to brighten your darker areas like under eye, corner of the nose or upper lip, and any visible spots, and set it up with loose powder. Apply a soft pink lipstick, light blush, and mascara.
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look | Wikimedia Commons
This look shouts pink. When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. Everyone should try a rosy look once in a while. As we are focusing on only one shade, this look is pretty easy to achieve. Bring out your favourite pink lipstick, favourite pink blush, and a matching shade of eye shadow. Start with the base - concealer, and foundation and set it up with loose powder. Follow it up with eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush. Remember to draw a line by not using any pink mascara, eyeliner, or a bold shade of lipstick, as this is meant to be soft on the eyes.
When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. | Wikimedia Commons
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. This look is slightly complex with an equal focus on skin before makeup, so slather on those moisturizing serums and creams to prep your skin first. Start with a highlighting primer, keep your foundation and concealer minimal to avoid looking cakey. Follow it up with soft blush & nude lips and lots and lots of highlighter. Use the highlighter on the main points of your face, like upper cheekbones, the centre of the forehead, the tip of the nose, cupid bone, and chin. If you are feeling a bit extra, don't hesitate to put some on your shoulders and collar bones. This celebrity makeup look makes your skin glow without the need for a spotlight.
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. | Photo by 邱 严 on Unsplash
Put a zing to your party look with the pop of funky colour. This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. This works with your eye makeup while keeping the rest of the face minimal. Start with the base - concealer, apply a bit extra on your eyelids to make the colour pop. Don't mind going the extra mile and colour blocking your eyes with complementary colours on eyelids and under the eye. Apply nude lipstick and a soft blush to balance your look.
This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. | Pixabay
(Article originally published by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Celebrity, makeup, Deepika, Jhanavi, Korean, Red Lipstick, Glass Makeup, Pop makeup