Tokyo Olympics see 1st cluster of COVID-19 infections

Aug 05 , 2021. 13 hours ago – 20:41 KYODO NEWS

https://olympics.com/ioc/news/tokyo-2020-to-organise-innovative-and-engaging-games

TOKYO – The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee said Wednesday several confirmed COVID-19 cases among the Greek artistic swimming team are the first cluster of infections in the athletes’ village, amid surging infections in Japan.

“I have to say it is a cluster,” a spokesman for the organizing committee, Masanori Takaya, said after it reported 29 more COVID-19 cases associated with the Olympics, the highest daily count, bringing the cumulative total to over 300.

It said the 29 cases include three Greek artistic swimmers who were staying in the village for the Olympics, which began July 23 amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases propelled by the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Among the 12-member Greek artistic swimming team, four athletes and one official have tested positive for COVID-19. All the members, including seven who had tested negative for the virus, have already left the village and relocated to isolation facilities, according to the organizing committee.

Greece said Tuesday it will withdraw from artistic swimming competitions.

Despite the number of Olympic-related infections remaining relatively low, the Tokyo metropolitan government on Wednesday reported another daily record of 4,166 COVID-19 cases.

“The Olympics have had an impact on people’s consciousness,” the government’s top COVID-19 adviser Shigeru Omi told a parliamentary committee.

As of early August, the Delta variant is believed to be responsible for roughly 90 percent of new infections in the Kanto region including Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures, according to Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and senior government officials have stated there is no link between the ongoing games and the COVID-19 spike, stressing strict and adequate measures have been put in place to prevent the participants from coming into contact with the Japanese public.

Among Olympic athletes and stakeholders, the virus positivity rate stood at 0.02 percent with over 500,000 tests conducted so far, Takaya said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

The daily figure includes another athlete from overseas, the organizing committee said, without identifying from which country. Besides the athletes, they are 19 contractors and four volunteers and two games-linked officials. Of the total, 24 were residents of Japan.

One case reported by the committee on Sunday proved to be negative later and was eliminated from the cumulative total, now standing at 322.

The numbers do not include those announced by Japanese central and local governments.

The Tokyo metropolitan police separately said it has confirmed a total of 23 COVID-19 cases among officers dispatched from across the country for Olympic security assistance.

Cr. KYODO NEWS