Jae C. Hong / AP
A week before the world’s major sporting event begins, the first person has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tokyo Olympic Village as more than 11,000 athletes, plus an estimated 79,000 journalists, officials and staff are scheduled to gather in Japan during the ongoing pandemic.
So far, 44 people affiliated with the Games have tested positive since the beginning of July, most of them contractors.
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto announced at a press conference on Saturday that the latest infection was detected during the PCR test conducted a day earlier and the person is now quarantined for 14 days in a hotel.
Identity and nationality were not disclosed, but Muto said the infected person came from abroad.
The individual is listed as “personal interested in games” in the current account of infections that organizers are tracking. Athletes are a separate category.
On Friday, a member of the Nigerian delegation became the first visitor to be hospitalized with COVID-19.
Olympic organizers face a great test
The infections are testing organizers’ ability to keep the virus at bay.
In six days, the opening ceremony on July 23 officially kicks off more than two weeks of events for the world’s top competitors in 33 sports.
It’s a makeup after Tokyo postponed the Games from July 2020 due to the pandemic. A year later, the pandemic is still here, fueled in part by the delta variant, which spreads the coronavirus about 225% faster than the original version.
Tokyo is battling a fifth wave of infections. With cases to a maximum of half a year, polls find that the majority of residents are opposed to hosting the games.
On July 8, Japan declared a state of emergency, banning spectators from attending events in the capital.
The Olympic village it is part of efforts to keep athletes and staff in a bubble; A series of high-rise buildings provide accommodation, dining and medical care in Tokyo’s Harumi waterfront district. A “Fever Clinic” is equipped for COVID-19 testing and diagnosis.
In the event of close contact with an infected person, all visitors to Japan should use smartphone apps to help with contact tracing.
Officials are encouraging but not demanding vaccination among Games participants. They say that more than 80% of the residents of the Olympic Village have been vaccinated.
A. 70 page playbook establishes mitigation measures for all participants, including wearing masks (unless eating, sleeping, training, or competing), regular screening for COVID-19, and physical distancing (no hugging or high-fives).
Even the medal ceremony is done without contact; Athletes will be asked to remove their medal from a tray and place it around their neck.
And in the days and weeks to come, the organizers of the Olympic Games will continue to show whether their own efforts can ensure that the Games take place safely.