Tokyo Olympics organisers on 18 July reported three new cases of Covid-19 infection among athletes, up from one new case a day earlier, as the population of the athlete’s village swells ahead of the start of the pandemic-hit Games next week.
The competitors are the first athletes to return positive tests for the virus while staying at the Village.
Another unnamed athlete has also tested positive upon arrival in the Japanese capital, Tokyo 2020 said, but they are not a resident of the Village.
The cases were revealed a day after an unidentified person became the first to test positive in the Village, which will house thousands of competitors during the Games.
Olympics organisers on 17 July reported the first case of Covid-19 at the athletes’ village, along with 14 other new cases connected to the Games that begin next week, raising fresh doubts over promises of a “safe and secure” event.Tokyo 2020 confirmed there had been 10 new infections in Japan linked to the Games since July 1, bringing the total in that period to 55.
An International Olympic Committee member from South Korea on 17 July has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after arriving 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.
Ryu, who is part of the IOC’s athletes’ commission, said he had tested negative twice before travelling to Japan. The 2020 Games was postponed for a year due to the global pandemic and is being held mostly without spectators and under tight quarantine rules.
Tokyo’s new Covid-19 cases on 17 July were reported at 1,410. They were 950 one week ago, and it marks the 28th straight day that cases were higher than a week previous. It was the highest single day since 1,485 on January 21.
IOC President Thomas Bach, as he has done all week in Tokyo, had again asked the Japanese to support the Olympics on 17 July. Opinion polls, depending how the question is asked, show 50-80% want the Olympics postponed again or canceled.
“We are very well aware of the skepticism, obviously that a number of people have here in Japan,” Bach had said in his first large briefing of the Olympics at the main press center in Tokyo.
“My appeal to the Japanese people is to welcome these athletes.”