A Covid-19 cluster was found in a Japanese hotel designated to host Olympic participant countries. The Olympic Hotel was hosting dozens of Brazilian team members at the time the Covid-19 cluster was detected, alarming the officials.
According to the reports, as many as seven staff members of a hotel in the city of Hamamatsu, southwest Tokyo was tested positive for coronavirus. The 31 members of the Brazilian Olympic delegation which also included the “judo” athletes were kept in a bubble inside the hotel, which separated them from the other guests in the hotel. The Brazilian delegation has not been infected.
The positive members of the staff were found during a routine screening process by the hotel. The unidentified hotel has now been considered as a Covid-19 cluster.
There have been raised concerns among the health officials as Tokyo recorded the highest number of cases in six months just a week before the official opening ceremony of the Olympics. This new surge highlights the risk of staging the world’s biggest sports event during a pandemic even though it is decided that the venues will not allow spectators.
Tokyo has recorded 1149 new cases on Wednesday, the highest number in one day since 22nd January. The city has gone under a state of emergency and will remain in it till the end of the Games on August 8th.
On the other hand, Russia’s rugby team underwent isolation after their masseur was tested positive for Covid-19. The South African men’s rugby team has also gone under isolation after interacting with a positive case on their inbound flight.
Medical experts had already shown their concerns over the Olympics “bubbles” imposed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic officials stating that they might not be completely tight to ensure covid-19 free games because of the movement of staff servicing them.
The pandemic-hit Olympics, bound to start in nine days, are losing interest and public support amidst the surging new cases and lingering concerns regarding the infection risks associated with the games.
Japan was looking forward to organizing the Olympics and had been preparing since it was awarded the games in 2013. The country expected the Olympics to be a celebration of the country’s victory from a disastrous tsunami, deadly earthquake, and a nuclear accident in 2011.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach had overly praised the organizers of the Olympics and the people of Japan for staging an event amidst the ongoing pandemic.
Bach had previously stated that “these will be historic Olympic game… for the way how the Japanese people overcame so many challenges in the last couple of years”
Prime minister Yoshihide Suga and other leaders were hopeful that their scheduled games will help them mark a global victory against novel coronavirus, but the tables are turned now. Many countries including Japan are struggling against the new variants and the surge in the positive cases.
A recent poll showed a global average of 46% interest in the Game whereas 78% of Japanese are against hosting the games at the moment when the cases are rising again.