One week before the start of the Olympic Games (Olympics) in Tokyo, the organizers announced, Saturday July 17, a first case of Covid-19 identified in the Olympic village. “There is a person in the village. This is the very first case recorded in the village, it was detected on arrival ”, confirmed Takaya Masa, spokesperson for the organizing committee (Tocog), without specifying whether it is an athlete or a member of the management, or from which delegation the person comes.
The authorities, however, wanted to be reassuring about the effectiveness of the drastic measures used to curb any transmission of the virus. “In the village, there will be severe anti-Covid-19 measures: athletes will be tested every day, and if an athlete tests positive, he will be isolated”, assured the general manager of Tokyo-2020, Toshiro Muto. “We are confident that every effort will be made to ensure security in the Olympic Village. What is important is to react immediately and to ensure that all athletes are protected and safe ”, he added.
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.
Not the heart at the party
With less than a week before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital does not have the heart to celebrate this countdown, as local cases of Covid-19 continue to climb and the state of health emergency was put in place last Monday, until August 22.
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 draconian 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 ”, 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 need to prepare carefully and make sure that all of us are following the procedures. “
These “Countermeasures” are not enough to reassure the population in Japan, as Tokyo has recorded nearly 1,300 additional cases of Covid-19 daily in recent days.
The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, however assured Thursday that the anti-Covid-19 measures at the Olympics were working and that the delegations followed and supported these rules. “It is in their interest and in solidarity with the inhabitants of Tokyo”, underlined Mr. Bach after going to the Olympic village.