One week before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, the organizers announced on Saturday July 18 a first case of Covid-19 identified in the Olympic village, but wanted to be reassuring as to the effectiveness of the drastic measures used to curb any transmission. of the coronavirus.
” Very first case recorded in the village ”
“There is a person in the village. This is the very first case recorded in the village, and which was detected on arrival ”, said Takaya Masa, spokesperson for the Organizing Committee (TOCOG) at a press conference, without specifying whether it is an athlete or a member of the management, nor from which delegation the person comes from.
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His case brings to fifteen the number of people tested positive among the 15,000 athletes, Olympic delegations and journalists who arrived in Japan since July 1, i.e. “Very low rate” 0.1%, underlined Thomas Bach, the boss of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). According to the Japanese press, it would be a foreign person, without further details there either.
A test every day
The Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for July 23 to August 8, have been postponed for a year due to the pandemic, and strict health measures have been put in place in Japan so that the planetary meeting can be held.
“This person has tested positive at the screening of the village, we do not know if he is vaccinated or not”Tokyo-2020 general manager Toshiro Muto said. “In the village, there will be severe anti-Covid measures: athletes will be tested every day, and if an athlete tests positive, he will be isolated”, he explained, wanting to be reassuring.
“Confidence is built with rigor”
“Confidence is built with rigor”, added in the afternoon Christophe Dubi, Director of Games within the IOC, recalling that the monitoring of participants in the Olympic Games was starting “Fourteen days” before their arrival in Japan.
Less than a week before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, the Japanese capital does not have the heart to celebrate this countdown, while the state of health emergency has been implemented last Monday and until August 22.
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In camera trials
Almost all of the Olympic events will take place behind closed doors and the tens of thousands of participants – from athletes to officials, including journalists from abroad – are subject to drastic restrictions due to health risks.
“We are doing everything we can to prevent any further development of Covid-19. If we eventually find that there is contamination, we have a plan to respond ”, for his part assured Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organizing committee. “Athletes who come to Japan are probably very worried. This is the reason why we must be completely transparent ”, she promised. “We must prepare carefully and make sure that we all follow the procedures”, she added.
These “Countermeasures” are not enough to reassure the population in Japan, as Tokyo recorded 1,410 additional cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, the highest daily total since January.
Friday, Thomas Bach, was nevertheless convinced that these Games “Would demonstrate that they can behave safely, even in the midst of a pandemic”. Anti-Covid measures “Are not only in place, he estimated. They work ”.