Olympics-Tokyo Games spectacle at risk of further downgrade from pandemic By Reuters


© Reuters. A girl walks previous Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games signage on the Main Press Center in the course of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak in Tokyo, Japan, July 16, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

By Ritsuko Ando

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

Organisers confirmed {that a} customer from overseas who was working for the Olympics 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. [L1N2OR0C6]

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

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

Postponed for a yr as a result of world pandemic, it’s being held largely with out spectators and beneath tight quarantine guidelines. Most athletes are beginning to arrive for the Games, which run from July 23 via Aug. 8.

The Japanese public has been cautious about internet hosting the Games amid a resurgence in new coronavirus infections and worries that an inflow of tourists might 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 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 acknowledged the general public’s issues.

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

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

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

A key a part of the anti-contagion measures is each 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 organisers have been already discovering guidelines tough to implement, Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko went lacking from his group’s coaching web site in Osaka on Friday.

Authorities are nonetheless on the lookout for him, in accordance with Games organisers. Media stories stated he left behind a notice saying he needed to remain and work in Japan, as life in Uganda was tough.

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