Thomas Bach assures that the measures against the coronavirus put in place “work”, although the organizers have announced this Thursday several positives
Anticovid measures at the Tokyo Games “work,” said the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, at a time when the Japanese capital records records of infected since January eight days after the start of the event sporty. The organizers announced on Thursday several positives: a foreign athlete recently arrived in Tokyo, as well as five people who work for the event.
Bach assured that a visit in the morning to the Olympic Village convinced him that the anti-virus measures “have been implemented and are working.” “We have been able to see and convince ourselves that all delegations follow the rules and support the rules, because they know that they are interested in being safe,” he declared during a meeting with the governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike. “They are interested and also in solidarity with the inhabitants of Tokyo,” he added.
Since Monday, Tokyo faces a new state of emergency due to the virus, with a significant increase in infections and fears of a spread of the Delta variant. Bars and restaurants have been encouraged to reduce their opening hours and theoretically cannot serve alcohol. The capital registered 1,308 new infections of covid-19 on Thursday, exceeding a thousand cases for the second consecutive day, these figures being the highest since January.
Tokyo 2020 has not given many details about the six people positive for covid, who underwent tests between Tuesday and Wednesday, and of which four are residents of Japan. And the authorities monitor other cases.
At least eight employees of a Japanese hotel, where the Brazilian Olympic judo team is staying, tested positive for the coronavirus, local health and sports officials announced on Thursday. The tests were carried out before the arrival of the Brazilian delegation, of 30 people, last Saturday and none of the positives had contact with the South Americans, said those responsible. A relative of one of the hotel employees also tested positive.
Elsewhere in Japan, in Munakata, southwest, a staff member of the Russian rugby team was hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus, a municipal authority told AFP. The group remains confined to the hotel and will resume their jobs on Friday if they test negative for covid, the source added.
And in Kurume (south-west), eight members of the Kenyan Rugby Seven women’s team were declared “contact cases” after a positive was discovered on the plane taken by the African delegation.
Tokyo finalizes the preparation for the Olympic Games almost behind closed doors, with strict measures to avoid contagion among athletes, officials and journalists from abroad. According to the Japanese press agency Kyodo, the organizers plan to receive less than a thousand VIPs (mainly foreign leaders) for the opening ceremony of the Games, on July 23, in the new Olympic stadium with capacity for 68,000 places.
Bach already promised on Wednesday to “not bring any risk to the Japanese people” with the Games, at a time when Japanese public opinion continues to see a potential accelerator of the pandemic in the country at the Olympic event, little affected in the first waves of the epidemic, with fewer than 15,000 deaths officially registered since the beginning of 2020.
The IOC reported Wednesday that of more than 8,000 people who arrived in Japan between July 1 and 13, only three tested positive upon entry and were placed in isolation, and their close contacts were “subjected to appropriate quarantine measures.” . Residents of the Olympic Village were vaccinated at 85% and that number grows to almost 100% among IOC members and Games staff who arrived from abroad, Bach noted.