Positive coronavirus test inside Olympic Village

TOKYO (AP) – Two South African football players became the first athletes in the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19and other cases related to Tokyo Games was also confirmed on Sunday, highlighting the absolute task organizers face to contain the virus while the world’s biggest sporting event takes place.

The positive tests come as some of the 11,000 athletes and thousands of other team officials expected from around the world begin arriving, having experienced a pandemic to make their way to Tokyo. .

Now they will all live close together in the Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay for the next three weeks.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach last week said the risk of athletes transmitting the virus to Japanese or other residents of the village was “zero”. But that bold claim has been tested.

IOC President Thomas Bach, center, speaks during a welcome party for Bach and IOC officials at Akasaka Palace, Japan’s state guesthouse, in Tokyo, Japan, Sunday, July 18, 2021. (Courtesy of Tokyo 2020, AP)

The Olympics, which have been postponed for a year because of the pandemic, will officially open on Friday and run until August 8.

The two soccer players and a video analyst from the team, who also tested positive, have been transferred to a “Tokyo 2020 isolation facility,” the South African Olympic committee said. The remaining members and officials have also been quarantined.

Those positive tests further fueled fears among locals, as the South African team is scheduled to take on host country Japan in its first match on Thursday.

There has been consistent outcry from the Japanese public about hosting the Olympics during the pandemic, with concerns that it could become a super-spreader event and cause an increase in infections. for the people of Japan.

Bach and the IOC have insisted it will be safe and have gone ahead against most medical advice. The IOC said it sees the Olympics as an opportunity to promote international solidarity during difficult times, but the IOC will also lose billions of dollars in broadcasting rights if the Games are canceled altogether.

Also on Sunday, Team South Africa confirmed the coach of their men’s rugby team had also tested positive at a pre-Olympic training camp in the southern Japanese city of Kagoshima. He is also isolated there and will miss the entire rugby competition, the team said.

And there are other positive tests associated with the Olympics. Olympic organizers say another athlete has tested positive, even though they do not reside in the Olympic Village. The athlete was not named and was identified only as “non-Japanese.”

The first official of the International Olympic Committee is reported to be positive. He recorded a positive test result on Saturday upon arrival at Tokyo airport. The IOC confirmed the test and identified him as Korean IOC member Ryu Seung-min. He is also said to be in isolation.

Former distance runner and world champion bronze medalist Tegla Loroupe, delegation leader of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, has tested positive for coronavirus. COVID-19 Before the team departed the Doha training base, Qatar, for Tokyo, two people with knowledge of her condition told the AP. The team delayed arriving in Tokyo while Loroupe was expected to stay, according to two people, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to release medical information.

Organizers say that 55 people linked to the Olympics in Japan have reported testing positive as of July 1, but that number does not include athletes or others who may have been to the training camp but not yet under the “authority” of the organizers.

The British Olympic Association said six athletes and two staff members from the track and field team are in quarantine at the team’s pre-Olympic base in Yokohama after allegedly being in close contact with a person who tested positive after a trip fly to Japan. US tennis player Coco Gauff did not go to Japan after testing positive for coronavirus.

Tokyo reports 1,008 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday, the 29th day in a row, the number of cases was higher than the previous seven days. This is also the fifth day in a row that there are more than 1,000 cases. The Olympics will open under a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures.

No fan, Japanese or foreign, will be allowed to attend any Olympic sport in Tokyo and the three surrounding prefectures. Some remote locations may allow a small number of local fans, but it has really become a TV-only event.

About 200 protesters gathered Sunday outside Shinjuku Station in central Tokyo, waving placards that read “No Olympics”. It is the latest in a series of small protests against the Olympics over the past few months.

“This is ignoring our human rights and our right to life,” protester Karoi Todo told the AP. “Infections are increasing. To do the Olympics is unforgivable. “

Organizers Japan and the IOC hope rigorous screening processes, where athletes, team officials and others are screened daily, will minimize the risk posed by thousands of foreigners arriving along. a time. Visiting athletes, officials and media will be in “soft quarantine” and restricted to Olympic venues, villages and designated hotels, and will stay away from the Japanese public Copy. The IOC also said that more than 80% of athletes participating in Tokyo will be vaccinated against COVID-19.

But, despite the guarantees, positive tests in the 5 days since the opening show that the regulations are not – and cannot be – perfect.

The South African team’s medical director said every member of the team had tested negative twice before arriving in Japan “as required by Tokyo 2020”. Dr Phatho Zondi said they also tested negative when they arrived in Tokyo.

The South African Olympic Committee said: “Team officials and management followed all relevant rules, protocols and procedures of the Olympic Playbook throughout the pre-Olympic and Olympic Games arrivals. festival”.

Coach Neil Powell and the entire South African rugby team have been kept in an isolation facility after arriving in Japan for positive COVID The South African team said its in-flight test. They were allowed to leave, only when Powell tested positive a few days later.

Powell has been immunized COVID-19 with the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in South Africa on May 24, team spokesman JJ Harmse told the AP.

South African football and Olympic officials did not immediately confirm whether the two footballers and official who tested positive had been vaccinated, although South Africa’s Olympic committee said in May. 5 they will provide all their Olympic athletes with the J&J vaccine.

The Olympics ended effectively before starting with two footballers and Powell as they would have to be quarantined for 14 days as per Japanese regulations.

The only way football players can play is if their team makes it to the semi-finals. | Positive coronavirus test inside Olympic Village


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