Tokyo Olympics Committee Announces 1st Positive Case of COVID-19 in Olympic Village

CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympics’ organizing
committee announced Saturday the Olympic Village has recorded its
first positive COVID-19 test result.

“We are sparing no efforts [to
keep the Olympic Village safe],” committee president Seiko
Hashimoto told reporters.

CNN’s Junko Ogura reported organizers said
the person was a “non-resident of Japan who is involved in
organizing the Games” but provided no further information, citing
privacy concerns.

The positive test comes
after a week in which several athletes and staff members either tested
positive for COVID-19 or were deemed a close contact of someone who
did before entering the Olympic Village ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony,
per Julian Ryall of the South China Morning Post.

“This is extremely troubling because
I am fairly sure that these cases are just the tip of the iceberg,” Kazuhiro Tateda, the president of the Japan Association of Infectious
Diseases, said.

A recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo led Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to declare a state of emergency until at least Aug. 22. The Olympics run
through Aug. 8, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 24 through Sept.
5.

International Olympic Committee
president Thomas Bach said the Games would be run safely and promised “not to bring any risk” to the country, per Ryall.

“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.

Yet, between Japan’s already rising
case numbers and athletes from around the globe traveling to the
country amid the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant, experts
who spoke with Time Magazine said there’s “no zero-risk scenarios” for holding the Games.

“As far as I know, there is no
risk-assessment report or result,” virologist Hitoshi Oshitani, who
helped create Japan’s COVID-19 strategy, said. “So we do not have
any concrete material to judge if the risk is acceptable for Japan
and for other countries.”

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

The Games were previously delayed from
last year because of the pandemic.

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