#Tokyo2020: Czech beach volleyball player tests COVID-19-positive at Olympic Village
Yet another case of the COVID-19 infection has been reported at the Tokyo Olympic Village as Czech beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday. This is reportedly the fourth known case of COVID-19 at the Olympic Village. This worrying development comes just days ahead of the start of the Tokyo Games set to kick off on July 23. Here's more.
According to the head of the Czech Olympic team, Martin Doktor, Perusic had on Sunday (July 18) submitted "a positive sample during everyday testing in the Olympic Village." "He has absolutely no symptoms," Doktor said in a statement. "We are dealing with all the details and... naturally the anti-epidemic measures within the team," he added.
According to reports, Perusic is the fourth person at the Tokyo Olympic Village to test positive for the deadly virus. Earlier on Sunday, the organizers revealed that two players of the South African football team as well as a video analyst for the team were previously found to be infected with COVID-19 at the athletes' village.
After three South African football team members tested positive, 21 members of the South African squad—considered to be close contacts—have been instructed by the organizers to stay inside their rooms at the Olympic Village. Once the pandemic-postponed 2020 Summer Games commence, the Olympic Village—comprising a complex of apartments and dining areas—will accommodate 6,700 athletes and officials from around the world at its peak.
Despite a handful of people testing positive for the deadly virus amid fears of a COVID-19 cluster emerging at the Olympic Village, the Tokyo Games organizers, however, seemed to downplay the situation on Monday. Insisting that the Olympic Village is "a safe place to stay," they said that so far, there have been "no significant bumps," reported France 24.
"The IOC (International Olympic Committee) and Tokyo 2020 are absolutely clear that the Olympic Village is a safe place to stay," stated Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya. "We cannot say there will be no positive cases within the Olympic Committee, given...that we have a massive number of people engaged... But there are no significant bumps, in terms of the positivity rate...," said Takaya.
The Tokyo Games—which would be held largely without spectators under strict COVID-19 restrictions—are facing a severe backlash from many in Japan amid fears the Olympics would turn into a super-spreader event, worsening the crisis and further burdening the country's healthcare system. Meanwhile, the Japanese capital itself has reportedly been witnessing a sharp rise in the cases and is currently under a state of emergency.