Olympics chief says ‘zero’ risk of COVID-19 spreading from participants


Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks to journalists after a gathering with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in Tokyo, Japan, July 14, 2021. Kimimasa Mayama/Pool through REUTERS

TOKYO—Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach mentioned on Thursday there was “zero” danger of Video games individuals infecting Japanese residents with COVID-19, as instances hit a six-month excessive within the host metropolis.

“Threat for the opposite residents of Olympic village and danger for the Japanese folks is zero,” Bach mentioned, including that Olympics athletes and delegations have undergone greater than 8,000 coronavirus checks, leading to three constructive instances.

These instances have been positioned in isolation and their shut contacts are additionally below quarantine protocols, Bach mentioned at first of talks with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto.

Simply over every week earlier than the July 23 opening ceremony, Tokyo reported 1,308 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, its highest each day tally since late January.

Postponed final yr as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer time Olympics have little public assist in Japan amid widespread fears a few additional unfold of the coronavirus.

Critics of the plan to carry the Tokyo Olympics – which had been postponed by a yr as a result of pandemic – submitted a petition on Thursday that has garnered greater than 450,000 signatures this month, Japanese media reported.

Organizers have imposed Olympics “bubbles” to stop additional transmissions of COVID-19, however medical consultants are anxious that they may not be sufficiently tight.


Various infections have emerged amongst a number of visiting athletes and other people concerned with the Video games.

An Olympic athlete below a 14-day quarantine interval has examined constructive in Tokyo, the organizing committees’ web site reported on Thursday, with out disclosing any particulars in regards to the athlete.

Eight members of the Kenyan ladies’s rugby workforce, who had been set to carry a coaching camp in Kurume in southwestern Japan, had been categorized as shut contacts of a passenger on their flight to Tokyo who examined constructive for coronavirus, a metropolis official mentioned.

The eight athletes had all examined unfavorable on arrival on the airport, the official added, and can be staying at an lodging facility in Tokyo till the Video games.

Tokyo entered its fourth state of emergency earlier this week amid a rebound in COVID-19 instances that pushed Video games organizers to ban spectators from practically all venues.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga informed reporters Japan would take thorough steps to strengthen border controls towards the coronavirus.


Tokyo Olympics

Scaffoldings for the spectator seats are seen at Aomi City Sports activities Park, forward of the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Video games which were postponed to 2021 as a result of coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Given the state of emergency within the host metropolis, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee mentioned it will bar public entry to the capital’s waterfront space and requested the general public to chorus from visiting the Olympic flame platform.

The waterfront space, dubbed Tokyo Waterfront Metropolis, was presupposed to function “cool spots, relaxation areas and eating areas” and be open to spectators and non-ticket holders, based on organizers.

A few of the sponsor cubicles could also be operated on a restricted-access foundation in the course of the Video games, a committee spokesperson informed reporters.

A call of whether or not to permit public entry to the realm in the course of the Paralympic Video games can be taken after the Olympics have ended, the spokesperson mentioned.


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