Measures Against the Novel Coronavirus: Nippon Foundation Para Arena to Be Used as Field Hospital
With the spread of the novel coronavirus, hospitals in Japan have been faced with the need to expand the number of hospital beds they are able to provide. As an emergency measure, The Nippon Foundation, starting April of this year, will establish a total of 10,000 hospital beds in two locations in the Tokyo metropolitan area, aimed at patients with mild cases of the coronavirus, etc.
The news was announced by Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, in a press conference on April 3
The Nippon Foundation is expected to utilize the grounds of the Museum of Maritime Science and the Nippon Foundation Para Arena (hereafter “Para Arena”) in the Tokyo metropolitan area, with the goal of establishing, by the end of April, approximately 1,200 hospital beds in tents in the two locations.
(Photo: Museum of Maritime Science)
The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center (hereafter “Parasapo”) will work together with The Nippon Foundation to provide the Para Arena as a field hospital for the novel coronavirus. Our current priority—in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which has now been postponed to August of next year—will be to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and get through these trying times with all those affected by the virus.
We at Parasapo will do our utmost to bring back the health, safety, and security of our society, so that we can help end the spread of the novel coronavirus, and have athletes be able to return to their regular training, as soon as possible.
A message from Chairman Yasushi Yamawaki of Parasapo
On April 3, 2020, the Nippon Foundation announced that they would establish a total of 10,000 hospital beds in two locations in the Tokyo metropolitan area, including at the Museum of Maritime Science, aimed at patients with mild cases of the coronavirus, as an emergency measure to combat the rapidly growing shortage of hospital beds due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
After receiving a request from The Nippon Foundation with regards to this measure, we have decided to make the Para Arena, operated by Parasapo, available as a space for a field hospital.
On April 2, there were a record 97 new cases of the novel coronavirus announced in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and it has become increasingly clear that the number of cases will continue to grow. There were also reports from the recent Expert Meeting on Control of the Novel Coronavirus Disease Control that expressed concern regarding the collapse of the health care system, even before a supposed “overshoot” (explosive growth in the number of patients). Our decision to provide the Para Arena as a space for a field hospital was motivated by our desire, above all, to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus, and provide as much support as we can in these trying times.
The Para Arena was built on the grounds of the Museum of Maritime Science as a gymnasium specifically for parasports, with the goal of providing a training environment for para-athletes. The facility, which opened its doors on June 1, 2018, has operated at almost 100% capacity since its opening, frequented by sports associations from official Tokyo 2020 Paralympic sports, their club teams, and individual para-athletes. We understand that our decision to temporarily close the Para Arena will serve as a major inconvenience for all of the athletes who use the facility for their everyday parasport training.
What is happening throughout the world poses a risk so immense that it goes far beyond the realm of sports, to threaten all of humanity. In these circumstances, our greatest priority is to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and do whatever we can to preserve human life.
Here at Parasapo, we, alongside our athletes, affiliates, and all of our fans, who have helped support the Paralympics and parasports in general, will do our utmost to bring back the health, safety, and security of our society, and get through these trying times.
Yasushi Yamawaki, Chairman
The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center
The Nippon Foundation Para Arena, operated by Parasapo, will close temporarily starting April 6 (Mon.), 2020, due to the construction of the field hospital for the novel coronavirus.
Nippon Foundation Official Website:
Emergency Support in Response to Spread of New Coronavirus
Photo by the Nippon Foundation
Photo by the Nippon Foundation
An article of Para Arena:
The Nippon Foundation Para Arena Celebrates Its 1st Anniversary
An article of Yasushi Yamawaki:
Chairman Yamawaki and Rio Paralympics Gold Medalist Discuss Their Hopes for Tokyo 2020 (Part I)
text & photo by Parasapo