Tokyo Olympics: Ugandan team member tested positive for COVID | Olympic Games News

The positive test was the first infection detected among athletes arriving for the Tokyo Olympics.

A member of the Ugandan Olympic team has tested positive for the coronavirus and has been barred from entering Japan, in the first infection detected among athletes arriving for the opening of the Tokyo Games in five weeks.

The other eight members of the team left early Sunday on a chartered bus for the host city of Osaka in central Japan, where cases of COVID-19 are still being reported.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, a minister responsible for economic policy, told NHK TV on Sunday that the government was investigating what had happened with border controls.

The athletes, who arrived late Saturday at Narita Airport in Tokyo, were all fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccines and underwent negative PCR tests before boarding, the Asahi newspaper reported, citing an anonymous Cabinet secretariat official. .

The team member who tested positive has not been identified.

NHK said the individual will remain in a government-designated facility.

Critics have raised serious questions about the risks of holding the Olympics during a pandemic. But the International Olympic Committee, Tokyo organizers and the Japanese government insist the Games can be held safely.

“Let’s all wait a minute,” opposition lawmaker Renho said on her Twitter account. “This time nine people arrived. For the Olympic Games, 100,000 people will arrive. Now is not the time to talk about how moving this will be for our children. “

Japan requires a two-week quarantine for overseas arrivals, but the Olympic team is not subject to the same border controls.

Organizers are expected to decide on Monday to allow some home fans in the stands. Plans for mass public screening sites in Tokyo were canceled on Saturday.

Fans from overseas were banned several months ago. Before the pandemic, Japan relied on the Olympics to provide booming tourism and consumer spending.

The Ugandan team was the second, after the Australian women’s softball team, to compete in the Olympics, which opens on July 23.

Uganda is seeing an alarming increase in COVID-19 variants and has just tightened lockdown measures. About 590 deaths have been reported, probably an undercount, given the paucity of testing.

In Japan, the state of emergency to curb the spread of the virus in Tokyo, Osaka and other urban areas ends on Sunday, although daily cases still rise by several hundred.

There has been no containment in Japan. The so-called emergencies, which have lasted most of this year, focus on the early closure of restaurants and shops, limiting the size of the crowds at venues and asking people to distance themselves socially, to work from home. and wear masks.

Japan’s vaccination rate is the slowest among developed countries, with around 6 percent of the population fully vaccinated. Although the rollout is gradually accelerating, most people are unlikely to be fully immunized before the Olympics.

More than 14,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Japan.

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