First COVID-19 case found at athletes’ village, stoking fears ahead of Olympics

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(FILES) This file photograph taken on June 20, 2021 reveals residential buildings of the Olympic Village behind highway indicators throughout a media tour of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Village in Tokyo.  (Photograph by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP) / 

TOKYO—Tokyo Olympics organizers stated on Saturday an individual has examined optimistic for COVID-19 on the athletes’ village, the primary case at a website the place most opponents can be staying, elevating new doubts over guarantees of a “secure and safe” Video games.

The organizers confirmed {that a} customer from overseas who’s concerned in organizing the Video games had examined optimistic throughout a routine take a look at on Friday. The individual’s nationality was not revealed attributable to privateness considerations.

The 2020 Video games, postponed for a yr because of the international pandemic, is being held principally with out spectators and beneath tight quarantine guidelines.

Japan’s public has been lukewarm in regards to the Video games amid a resurgence in new coronavirus infections and worries that an inflow of tourists could create a super-spreader occasion, straining an already-stretched medical system. Solely round 20% of the inhabitants is totally vaccinated.

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

“I perceive that there are nonetheless many worrying components. Organizers should attempt to be sure that folks will perceive that these video games are secure and safe,” she informed a information convention on Saturday.

Airport operations crew for the Tokyo 2020 (L) wait for Olympic athletes and officials arriving on a flight from Doha at Narita international airport in Narita, Chiba prefecture on July 14, 2021.

Airport operations crew for the Tokyo 2020 (L) look ahead to Olympic athletes and officers arriving on a flight from Doha at Narita worldwide airport in Narita, Chiba prefecture on July 14, 2021. (Photograph by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Thus far, greater than 40 folks concerned within the Video games, together with each home and overseas nationals, have examined optimistic. The newest case is the primary on the 44-hectare athletes’ village on Tokyo’s waterfront, which is the place a majority of the 11,000 opponents can be staying.

Athletes are simply beginning to arrive for the Video games which run July 23 by means of Aug. 8.

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. Guests’ actions are additionally attributable to be monitored and restricted.

However in an indication that organizers had been already discovering guidelines troublesome to implement, Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko went lacking from his crew’s coaching website in Osaka on Friday.

Authorities are nonetheless in search of him, in line with Video games organizers. Media reviews stated he left behind a be aware saying he wished to remain and work in Japan, as life in Uganda was troublesome.

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