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Two athletes tested positive for coronavirus in Tokyo Olympic Village

Two athletes have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Tokyo Olympic Village after a team colleague was also infected, officials said on Sunday, raising fears of a cluster just days before the opening ceremony.

The first cases
involving athletes in the Village came a day after a member of their entourage
returned the first positive test in the complex, which will house thousands of

The three
infections were revealed as competitors fly in from around the world for the
pandemic-delayed Olympics, which are facing significant opposition in Japan due
to their Covid risks.

Tokyo 2020
spokesman Masa Takaya said the three cases “were from the same country and
sport”. They are “isolated in their rooms and Tokyo 2020 is
delivering meals to them”, he said, adding that the rest of the team have
also been tested. The team was not identified.

The Olympic
Village, a complex of apartments and dining areas in Tokyo, will house 6,700
athletes and officials at its peak when the delayed 2020 Games finally get

The Tokyo Games,
which will be held largely behind closed doors to prevent infections, are
unpopular in Japan where opinion polls have consistently demonstrated a lack of

Olympic officials
have been at pains to play down the health risks of the Games, which are taking
place in stringent anti-coronavirus conditions with athletes tested daily.

“Mingling and
crossing of populations is very limited. We keep the risk to an absolute
minimum level,” Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said on
Sunday. “We can ensure that transmission between the various groups is
almost impossible.”

But Tokyo
residents appeared unsettled by the cases in the Village.

“I thought
the Olympic Village would be safer, so I am amazed that the virus even got
inside there. I think it’s dangerous,” cosmetics company employee Riyoka
Kasahara, 23, told AFP. “I question why we are holding the Games now even
though we waited for one year, especially when we are seeing variants that are
more contagious,” said security guard Shotaro Watanabe, 22.

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