At least eight staff members of a hotel in Japan currently hosting the Brazilian Olympic judo team have tested positive for the coronavirus, local authorities announced Thursday, July 15, while the Tokyo Olympics open on 23 July.
These tests had been carried out before the arrival last Saturday of the Brazilian team which is made up of about thirty people, said health and sports officials in Hamamatsu (central Japan), where the hotel in question is located.
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None of the infected people have come into contact with Brazilian athletes, the same authorities also mentioned.
The discovery of this Covid-19 hotbed comes as Tokyo prepares to host the Olympics behind closed doors and with an avalanche of restrictions for all participants – athletes, officials or journalists from abroad.
Only hotel workers who tested negative are in contact with the Brazilian team, Yoshinobu Sawada, a sports official for Hamamatsu, told AFP.
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“We think they (the Brazilians, Editor’s note) have understood the situation and our measures against infections”, he added.
A family member of one of the hotel employees also tested positive, according to local authorities.
A state of emergency has been in effect again since Monday in Tokyo, where the Covid-19 is in full resurgence. Bars and restaurants are called upon to reduce their opening hours and theoretically should not serve alcohol.
A record of cases since January
On Wednesday, 1,149 additional cases were identified in the capital, a record since January 22.
President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach on Wednesday promised to “Do not take any risk for the Japanese people”, while Japanese public opinion still sees the Olympic Games as a potential accelerator of the pandemic in the country.
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Out of more than 8,000 people who arrived in Japan between July 1 and July 13 for the Olympics, three tested positive after their arrival and were isolated, their close contacts also being “Subject to appropriate quarantine measures”, according to the IOC.
Residents of the Olympic Village will be vaccinated at 85% and this rate is almost 100% for IOC members and Olympic staff arriving from abroad, Thomas Bach also stressed on Wednesday.