COVID cases confirmed in athletes’ village

Two Olympic competitors staying in Tokyo's athletes' village have tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo)

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Tokyo Olympics organisers have reported the first COVID-19 cases among competitors residing in the athletes’ village, as its population swells ahead of the start of the pandemic-hit Games.

Two athletes from the same country and competing in the same sport staying in the village in the Harumi waterfront district tested positive for the virus, organisers said without providing further details.

Organisers on Sunday reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics, including a third athlete who was not staying in the village, down from 15 new cases a day earlier.

Korean athlete tests positive

An International Olympic Committee member from South Korea tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Tokyo for the Olympic Games and has been isolated.

Ryu Seung-min, who won the Olympic table tennis gold in men’s singles in 2004, was diagnosed with the virus after landing at Narita International Airport on Saturday.

“The IOC has been informed about the positive COVID-19 test result of IOC member Ryu Seung-min upon arrival in Japan,” an IOC spokesperson said.

“He is currently in the isolation facility, where he will stay until the Japanese authorities decide that he is able to leave his room.

“The IOC is relieved to hear that all protocols have been properly followed which led to the detection of the case. We wish him a speedy recovery.”

Fifteen cases confirmed

Olympics organisers on Saturday reported the first case of COVID-19 at the athletes’ village, along with 14 other new cases connected to the Games, raising fresh doubts over promises of a “safe and secure” event.

Ryu, who is part of the IOC’s athletes’ commission, said he had tested negative twice before travelling to Japan.

“I am completely asymptomatic, which probably has to do with the fact that I am vaccinated,” South Korean media quoted Ryu as saying in a social media post which was subsequently deleted.

Organisers say since July 1, 55 people linked to the Olympics have reported positive tests.

Thousands to stay in Olympic Village

The Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay will house 11,000 Olympic athletes and thousands of other support staff.

Tokyo recorded 1410 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the highest in six months. It was the 28th straight day that cases were higher than seven days previous.

The Olympics will open on Friday under a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures. The emergency order lasts until August 22.

The Olympics close on August 8.

– with AP

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