“We have three positive COVID-19 cases at the camp here, two players and one official,” team manager Mxolis Sibam said in a press release on Sunday.
According to the association, the two athletes are footballers Tabiso Moniane and Camohelo Mahlatsi and video analyst Mario Masha. They are the first athletes to have tested positive in the village.
The team left South Africa on July 13 and returned to Tokyo the next day to report negative results.
The association says the video analyst tested positive Thursday and went into isolation while the athletes tested “Friday and Saturday, respectively.”
According to the association, the entire group is now under quarantine “until rehearsal”.
“Right now we’re all in quarantine to be free to train today and wait for the results this morning. This unfortunate situation made us miss our first intense workouts last night,” Sibam said.
Outside the Olympic Village, a third athlete passed a positive test on Sunday, organizers said. The names and nationalities of the positive cases were not disclosed by the organizers.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics begin on Friday – but concerns about the risk of Covid’s spread are growing as 55 confirmed cases are linked to the Games, including officials and contractors.
The Japanese public, as well as many international observers, have sounded the alarm over the Games as Japan struggles to recover from a new coronavirus epidemic.
The country saw a second huge wave in the spring, culminating in April and May with the closest 6,000 new cases per day. Events began in June, but have escalated in recent weeks and have raised fears that the arrival of teams from more than 200 countries could turn the Games into a global broadcast event.
As of Friday, more than 15,000 Olympic athletes had arrived in Japan, according to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Olympic Village, which includes 21 residential buildings, accommodates about 11,000 athletes.
Bach acknowledged criticism of the Olympics during the pandemic, but also defended the precautionary measures taken.
“We are well aware of the suspicions of a number of people in Japan,” he said at a news conference on Saturday. “My appeal to the people of Japan is to welcome athletes for their competitions.”
Organizers announced this month that Tokyo’s buildings would be closed to the public due to the city’s coronavirus emergency, an ACBU spokesman said in an unprecedented move.
The Olympic Village is being prepared by Kovid’s diagnostic and health centers, with signs reminding residents to wear masks and be at least a meter (about 3.3 feet) away from each other. Athletes are on a daily basis in search and testing of Covid; if their test is positive, they are taken to an isolation facility outside the Olympic Village and cannot compete.
Other measures in the village include limiting the capacity of indoor facilities, such as canteens and training centers, which are separated by plastic barriers.
CNN’s Selina Wang contributed to the report.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/18/asia/olympic-village-athletes-covid-intl-hnk/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fedition_sport+%28RSS%3A+CNNi+-+Sport%29 | Tokyo 2020: Two South African footballers test positive for Covid-19 in Olympic Village