One week before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, the organizers announced, Saturday, July 17, a first case of Covid-19 identified in the Olympic Village, but wanted to be reassuring as to the effectiveness of the measures used to curb any transmission of the coronavirus.
‘This is the very first case recorded in the Village, and which was detected on arrival,’ said Takaya Masa, spokesperson for the Organizing Committee (Tocog), at a press conference, without specifying. it is an athlete or a member of the management, neither from which delegation the person comes, nor whether the infected person was vaccinated or not.
According to the Japanese press, it would be a foreign person, without further details there either.
This case brings to fifteen the number of people tested positive among the 15,000 athletes, Olympic delegations and journalists who arrived in Japan since 1isJuly.
A ‘very low rate’ of 0.1%, underlined Thomas Bach, the boss of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who wanted to be reassuring Friday, convinced that these Games’ would demonstrate that they can be held in completely safe, even in the midst of a pandemic ‘. Anti-Covid measures ‘are not only in place, they are working,’ he said.
A test every day
The Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for July 23 to August 8, have been postponed for a year due to the pandemic, and strict health measures have been put in place in Japan so that the meeting can be held.
‘In the Village, there will be severe anti-Covid measures: athletes will be tested every day, and if an athlete tests positive, he will be isolated,’ said the general manager of Tokyo-2020, Toshiro Muto.
‘Confidence is built in rigor’, added in the afternoon Christophe Dubi, director of the Games within the IOC, recalling that the follow-up of the participants in the Olympics started ‘fourteen days’ before their arrival in Japan.
‘Athletes who come to Japan are probably very worried. This is the reason why we must be completely transparent, ‘promised Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Organizing Committee. ‘We are doing everything we can to prevent any further development of Covid-19. If we eventually find that there is contamination, we have a plan to respond, ‘she said.
In camera trials
Almost all of the Olympic events will take place behind closed doors and the tens of thousands of participants, from athletes to officials, including journalists from abroad, are subject to drastic restrictions.
These ‘countermeasures’ are not enough to reassure the population in Japan, as Tokyo recorded 1,410 additional cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, the highest daily total since January.
With less than a week before the opening ceremony of the Games on Friday, the Japanese capital does not have the heart to celebrate this countdown, while the state of health emergency was put in place last Monday and until August 22.