The first case of new crown pneumonia in the Olympic Games was found in the athletes’ village, heightening people’s doubts about the “safe and reliable” Olympics

© Reuters. During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tokyo, Japan on July 16, 2021, a woman walks by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics sign in the main press center. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Author: Ritsuko Ando

TOKYO (Reuters)-The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday reported the first COVID-19 case in the Athlete’s Village and 14 other new cases related to the Olympic Games starting next week, which has sparked concerns about “safety and reliability”. The promised new suspicion” incident.

Organizers confirmed that a foreign tourist working for the Olympics tested positive during a routine examination on Friday. For privacy reasons, the nationality of this person was not disclosed.

Other cases include two members of the media, seven contractors and five Olympic staff. [L1N2OR0C6]

The Athletes Village, located on the Tokyo waterfront, covers an area of ​​44 hectares, which is particularly worrying because most of the 11,000 contestants will stay there.

The Tokyo Olympics was originally meant to show Japan’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, but it has now become an exercise to limit damage.

Due to the global pandemic, it was postponed for one year, mainly held without spectators, and subject to strict isolation regulations. Most athletes began to participate in the Olympic Games from July 23 to August 8.

With the new coronavirus infection coming back, the Japanese public has been cautious about hosting the Olympics and worried that the influx of tourists may cause super-spreading incidents, which will strain the already stretched medical system.

Only about 20% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Although Japan has escaped outbreaks in other countries, there are more than 820,000 confirmed cases and approximately 15,000 deaths. The number of new cases in the host city Tokyo has exceeded 1,000 for four consecutive days, and Tokyo is entering its fourth state of emergency due to the virus.

Seiko Hashimoto, chairman of Tokyo 2020, acknowledged the public’s concerns.

“I understand that there are still many worrying factors. Organizers must work hard to ensure that people understand that these games are safe,” she said at a press conference on Saturday.

So far, more than 40 people participating in the Olympics, including Japanese and foreigners, have tested positive.

Toshiro Muto, chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, said on Saturday that officials are assuming that there will be a positive case of COVID-19.

A key part of the anti-infective measures is the daily saliva testing of participating athletes and frequent testing of other people participating in the event. The movement of tourists will also be monitored and restricted.

However, there are signs that organizers have found it difficult to enforce the rules, and Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko disappeared at the team training ground in Osaka on Friday.

According to the Olympic organizers, the authorities are still looking for him. The media reported that he left a note saying that he wanted to stay and work in Japan because life in Uganda was difficult.

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