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Olympic Athlete and Workers Test Positive for COVID-19 in Japan

26 cases among Olympic games participants and workers have been reported since July 1.

Video source: YouTube, CBS Evening News

An Olympic athlete and staff member associated with the upcoming Summer Games in Tokyo tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan, organizers said Thursday.

The two individuals, who were not identified, were among six new cases reported by the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. Altogether, 26 infections of games participants and workers have been reported by organizers since July 1. 

According to games officials, the athlete tested positive on Wednesday and went into a 14-day quarantine, just eight days before the Olympics are due to open. Depending upon when the athlete’s event is scheduled, the test result could mean the individual is barred from competing.

The staffer was also placed in a two-week quarantine after positive test results on Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after organizers said members of the South African rugby team would be delayed in their arrival to Tokyo after a vaccinated staff member tested positive for the virus.  

It also follows news that a COVID-19 cluster was detected at a hotel in Hamamatsu that was hosting Brazilian Olympic team members. 

Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency in Tokyo amid an increase in COVID-19 cases. The state of emergency began Monday and will run through Aug. 22, while the games are scheduled to run from July 23 to Aug. 8.

After being postponed by a year due to the pandemic, the games remain a source of concern for Japanese citizens and public health officials, who fear that the international sporting event will overwhelm an already stressed healthcare system.

On Thursday, host city Tokyo reported 1,308 new cases, its highest daily total since Jan. 21, according to The Associated Press

Both domestic and foreign spectators are banned from Olympic venues, and the Opening Ceremony will also be closed to the general public. 

With over 11,000 athletes from 200 nations expected to arrive in Tokyo to compete, Japanese officials said earlier this week they plan to step up quarantine requirements for those coming from areas where the delta strain of the virus has been detected. 

Olympic participants will also be subject to strict health measures and kept largely away from the Japanese public.

An Ipsos poll conducted in 28 countries, released on Tuesday, showed muted global interest in the Olympics due to the concerns over COVID-19 in Japan as well as withdrawals of high-profile athletes. 

The poll found a global average of just 46% interest in the games, while in Japan, 78% of respondents were against the event being held at all.


Source: Equities News

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