A coronavirus outbreak in a Japanese hotel where dozens of members of the Brazilian Olympic team are staying has raised new concerns about infections, despite which the world’s top official of the sporting event promised Wednesday that Tokyo 2020 will be a “historic” Games.
With just over a week before the opening ceremony of the postponed Games, seven hotel staff in the city of Hamamatsu, southwest of Tokyo, have tested positive, according to a city representative.
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But a Brazilian Olympic delegation of 31 people, including judo athletes, is in a “bubble” in the hotel and is separated from the rest of the guests and has not been infected.
Medical experts are concerned that the Olympic “bubbles”, imposed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic authorities in an effort to keep COVID-19 out, are not completely airtight as the movement of personnel serving at the Games it can generate contagion risks.
The Olympics have lost much public support in Japan over fears that they will trigger a wave of infections, despite the fact that spectators will not be allowed into sports venues.
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, praised the organizers and the Japanese people for hosting the Games amid the pandemic.
“These will be historic Olympic Games… for the way how the Japanese people overcame so many challenges in the last couple of years, the great east Japan earthquake and now the coronavirus pandemic” Bach told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Host city Tokyo reported 1,149 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, its highest daily figure in nearly six months.
Bach reiterated that the strict measures against the coronavirus are “in place and they are enforced and they are working”, referring to the exhaustive tests carried out.
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