Tokyo Olympics 2020: Rise in COVID-19 positive cases sparks concern

The Tokyo Olympics Games Village is a fortress
The Tokyo Olympics Games Village is a fortress

"The participants of the Tokyo Olympics are the most controlled population in the world," International Olympic Committee Games Operations Director Pierre Ducrey told journalists. However, the number of COVID-19 positive cases related to the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has risen to 58.

A journalist and two people concerned with the operational logistics of the Games tested positive on Monday. This comes after three athletes, including two South African footballers in the Games Village, tested positive a day earlier.

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The rise in cases has become a concern for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 organizing committee. Chiba Prefecture, which will host the wrestling event, is mulling a request for a state of emergency. Additionally, Organizing Committee CEO Toshiro Mutto has said that given the current situation, the rise in positive cases is a possibility.

On Monday, one of the positive cases was from the Chiba Prefecture. The other positive case, a journalist who had traveled for the Games, will be placed under a strict 14-day quarantine.

A total of 10 cases were detected on Sunday, including five Games concerned personnel, one contractor and a journalist.

Read: Tokyo Olympics 2020 opening ceremony: When and where to watch, theme, live streaming details in IST

American tennis player Coco Gauff has also pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after testing positive for the Coronavirus. The 17-year-old would have been one of the youngest athletes since 2000 to have competed in the Olympics.

Although the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Games Village is a fortress, COVID-19 seems to have engulfed the Village too.

The first batch of Indian athletes landed at the Narita Airport in Tokyo on Sunday and went about their procedures of a mandatory COVID-19 test and other formalities. Swimmer Sajan Prakash, tennis stars Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina will reach later on Monday and undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests.

The Indian contingent have been completely vaccinated.

Fans barred for Tokyo Olympics due to rise in COVID-19 cases

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be held under closed doors as Tokyo is reeling from an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 positive cases. More than 1,000 daily positive infections have been recorded in the last few days.

Close to eight million spectators were expected to be in attendance at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 at all 42 stadiums. This includes the National Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies along with track and field events. But empty stands will be the norm for the 17-day extravaganza.

Also read: The heart of the Olympic volunteer

Broadcasters are, however, constantly innovating to keep fans compensated for the lack of physical presence at the stadiums. Virtual cheers and fan video matrix have been installed at the venues. Additional features including cardboard cut-outs of fans, a virtual audio experience and a fantasy Olympic game are touted to keep fans on tenterhooks.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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