Olympics: First COVID case in athletes’ village piles strain on IOC


Tokyo Olympics organisers on Saturday reported the primary case of COVID-19 on the athletes’ village, together with 14 different new instances linked to the Games that start subsequent week, elevating recent doubts over guarantees of a “safe and secure” occasion.

The newest instances are a blow to the native organisers and the International Olympic Committee, who’ve insisted the Games won’t change into a super-spreader occasion.

The Tokyo organisers confirmed {that a} customer from overseas working for the Olympics had examined constructive in a routine test on Friday. The particular person’s nationality was not revealed attributable to privateness issues.

The different instances included two members of the media, seven contractors and 5 Games personnel. 

The case on the athletes’ village, a 44-hectare website constructed on Tokyo’s waterfront, is especially worrying as the vast majority of the 11,000 rivals might be staying there.

IOC President Thomas Bach, going through unprecedented opposition to an Olympics days earlier than it begins, acknowledged the issues within the Japanese public however urged them to welcome the athletes.

Read More: Five to look at on the Tokyo Olympics

Bach stated he hoped home sporting success may assist shift the temper from what he stated bordered on the aggressive to one thing extra supportive.

“We are well aware of the scepticism a number of people have here in Japan. We ask and invite the Japanese people, humbly, to welcome and support the athletes from around the world,” Bach informed a information convention.

“We are also confident once the Japanese people will see the Japanese athletes successfully performing in the Olympic Games then the attitude may become less emotional.”


Originally meant to showcase Japan’s restoration from its 2011 earthquake and nuclear catastrophe, the Tokyo Olympics has change into an train in harm limitation.

Postponed for a 12 months as a result of world pandemic, it’s being held principally with out spectators and below tight quarantine rules. Most athletes are beginning to arrive for the Games, which run from July 23 via August 8.

The Japanese public has been cautious about internet hosting the Games in any respect amid a resurgence in new coronavirus infections and worries that an inflow of holiday makers could create a super-spreader occasion, straining an already-stretched medical system.

Only round 20% of the inhabitants is absolutely vaccinated.

Although Japan has escaped the explosive outbreaks of different nations, it has recorded greater than 820,000 instances and about 15,000 deaths. The variety of new instances in host metropolis Tokyo, which is in its fourth state of emergency over the virus, has been over 1,000 for 4 straight days.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto additionally acknowledged the general public’s issues.

“I understand that there are still many worrying factors. Organisers must try to make sure that people understand that these games are safe and secure,” she informed a information convention on Saturday.

So far, greater than 40 folks concerned within the Games, together with Japanese and foreigners, have examined constructive for the virus.

Toshiro Muto, chief of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, stated on Saturday officers had been engaged on the belief that there can be constructive COVID-19 instances.

A key a part of the anti-contagion measures is every day saliva testing of the athletes who participate, in addition to frequent testing of others concerned within the occasion. Visitors’ actions are additionally attributable to be monitored and restricted.

But in an indication that the organisers had been already discovering rules tough to implement, Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko went lacking from his staff’s coaching website in Osaka on Friday.

Authorities are nonetheless in search of him, in line with Games organisers. Media studies stated he left behind a word saying he wished to remain and work in Japan, as life in Uganda was tough. learn extra

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