Tokyo Olympic Committee announces first positive case of COVID-19 in Olympic village | Bleacher report

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CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee announced on Saturday that the Olympic Village has registered its first positive COVID-19 test result.

“We save neither cost nor effort [to
keep the Olympic Village safe]”, chairman of the committee, Seiko Hashimoto, told reporters.

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CNNs Junko Ogura Organizers said the person was a “non-resident of Japan involved in the organization of the Games”, but did not provide further information, citing privacy concerns.

The positive test comes after a week in which several athletes and staffers either tested positive for COVID-19 or were considered to be in close contact with someone who did before entering the Olympic Village ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony, per Julian Ryalli of the South China Morning Mail.

“This is extremely troubling because I’m pretty sure these cases are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Kazuhiro Tateda, the president of the Japanese Infectious Diseases Association.

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo prompted Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to declare a state of emergency until at least August 22. The Olympic Games will run until August 8, followed by the Paralympic Games from August 24 to September 5.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said the Games would be safe and promised “not to pose any risk” to the country, Ryall said.

“We are making all our efforts and the Japanese people have all our commitment to contribute in the best way to fight this virus and not to bring any risk to the Japanese people,” Bach said.

But between Japan’s already rising number of cases and athletes from around the world traveling to the country amid the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant, experts who spoke to Time magazine said there are “no zero risk scenarios” for holding the Games.

“To my knowledge, there is no risk assessment report or result,” said virologist Hitoshi Oshitani, who helped set up Japan’s COVID-19 strategy. “So we have no concrete material to assess whether the risk is acceptable for Japan and for other countries.”

After the Olympics, the athletes will return to their more than 200 different home countries, which could extend the impact beyond the two-week international sporting event.

The Games were previously postponed from last year due to the pandemic.

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