First COVID-19 case reported at Tokyo Olympics village, raising fears
A person has tested positive for the coronavirus at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics athletes' village, organizers said on Saturday, marking the first such case there. The news further triggers fears about the Games, that have already been delayed by a year due to the pandemic. The Summer Games are set to begin on Friday, July 23.
The infected person is a foreign national, officials say
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto confirmed that a visitor from abroad, who is involved in organizing the Games, has tested positive. He, however, did not reveal the person's nationality and other details, citing privacy concerns. Muto said it was not yet known if that person had been vaccinated against COVID-19. "We do not have any information on whether this person was vaccinated or not."
Patient currently quarantined at a hotel
"There was one person in the Village. That was the very first case in the Village that was reported during the screening test," Masa Takaya, spokesperson for the Tokyo organizing committee, said in a press conference. "Right now, this person is confined to a hotel."
Officials say they are ready to respond to outbreaks
Tokyo 2020 officials say they are prepared to respond quickly if there are any wider outbreaks. "We are doing everything to prevent any COVID-19 outbreaks. If we end up with an outbreak, we will make sure we have a plan in place to respond," said Seiko Hashimoto. International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach had recently assured the Games would be safe.
Games being held with sweeping restrictions over COVID-19
The Olympics are being held with sweeping COVID-19 restrictions. Most games will be held without spectators, people involved are subject to strict quarantine rules, and athletes cannot stay more than two days after their events have concluded. More than 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees are set to compete in the Games. Around 85% of them have been vaccinated, according to the IOC.
Japanese people worried as country sees surge in infections
The Japanese people remain divided on hosting the Olympics. Many fear the Games would turn into a super-spreader, further denting the country's already burdened healthcare system. Japan is currently seeing a resurgence in coronavirus infections, with Tokyo reporting 1,308 cases on Thursday - the highest in six months. Further, the country's vaccination drive is lagging as only 20% are fully vaccinated yet.