May 18, 2022

Covid cluster in hotel in Japan welcomes Brazilian Olympians

None of those infected came into contact with Olympic athletes (File)


At least eight employees of a Japanese hotel hosting the Brazilian Olympic judo team have tested positive for the coronavirus, local officials said Thursday.

Health and sports officials in the city of Hamamatsu, west of Tokyo, said virus tests were carried out before the 30-member judo delegation arrived on Saturday.

None of those infected came into contact with the athletes, they said.

The news comes as Tokyo prepares to host the Olympics mostly behind closed doors, with strict anti-infective measures imposed on athletes, officials and journalists.

“Only those who have proof of a negative test work” with the judo team, said Yoshinobu Sawada, a city sports official.

“We explained to the team that only (healthy workers) are in the bubble. We think they understood the situation and our counter-infection measures,” he told AFP.

A family member of one of the infected hotel workers also tested positive, Hamamatsu officials added.

Tokyo is currently in a state of viral emergency, with an upsurge in infections. The city recorded 1,149 cases on Wednesday, the highest figure since January.

Several areas around the capital are subject to looser virus restrictions.

Olympic participants will be subject to strict virus rules and largely kept away from the Japanese public.

Meanwhile, a staff member of the Russian rugby sevens team was hospitalized after testing positive, an official from their host city, Munakata, in western Japan, told AFP.

The team, made up of 16 athletes and 10 staff, landed at an airport in Tokyo on July 10 and had no close contact with local authorities or residents since then, he said.

The rest of the squad are now quarantined in their homes, but if they are negative on Thursday, they will be able to resume training on Friday, the official added.

The International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday that of more than 8,000 people who arrived between July 1 and July 13, only three tested positive after their arrival and were isolated.

IOC chief Thomas Bach also pledged to “put Japan at no risk” with the Games, which will open on 23 July.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)