Tokyo Olympics see record COVID-19 cases for 2nd straight day

Aug 06 , 2021. 20 hours ago – 13:25 KYODO NEWS

Combined photo shows a staff member at the Tokyo Olympics holding up signs to cue athletes to take off their masks for photos on the podium (L) and put their masks back on afterwards during a judo medal ceremony at Nippon Budokan in July 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO – The organizing body of the Tokyo Olympics said Thursday 31 more people associated with the games have tested positive for COVID-19, setting a record for the second straight day and bringing the total since the start of July to 353.

One of the newly confirmed cases is a Greek artistic swimmer, according to the organizing committee. Among the country’s 12-member team, a total of six artistic swimmers have now tested positive for COVID-19 in what the committee regards as a cluster outbreak.

The team was initially staying in the athletes’ village but all later relocated to isolation facilities.

The six who have tested positive are staying in hotel rooms reserved for COVID-19 cases while the other six returned home Wednesday, according to Masanori Takaya, a spokesman for the organizing committee.

Of Thursday’s daily count, the other cases involved 16 contractors, seven games-related officials, three media members, two officials of the organizing committee and two volunteers.

Of the 31, 23 are residents of Japan. The daily figures exclude those announced by central and local governments in Japan.

The data provided by the organizers show most of the daily confirmed cases in recent days involved workers living in Japan who were not residents of the Olympic village.

Japan is battling curbing coronavirus cases with Tokyo under a COVID-19 state of emergency. Both in the capital and across the country, the number of confirmed cases hit another record high on Wednesday.

In Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, also placed under the COVID-19 emergency, the torch relay segment of the Paralympics slated for Aug. 18 will be canceled, the local government said Thursday. A flame-lighting event will be held as an alternative plan for the runners without spectators.

Many parts of the nationwide torch relay for the Olympics were also taken off public roads in the weeks leading up to the opening ceremony on July 23 due to the same reason.

The Paralympics are scheduled to take place between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5.

Cr. KYODO NEWS