Two Athletes Tested Positive For COVID-19 At The Olympic Village Five Days Ahead Of The Games

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BuzzFeed News 18 July, 2021 - 12:03pm 10 views

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In all, four members of South Africa's Olympic delegation tested positive and are now in isolation.

By Claudia Koerner

Posted on July 18, 2021, at 1:03 p.m. ET

Two soccer players and a video analyst from South Africa have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Olympic Village in Tokyo — just five days before the opening ceremony of the Summer Games.

Players Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi and video analyst Mario Masha are now in the Tokyo 2020 isolation facility, a Team South Africa statement said on Sunday. A fourth member of the country's Olympic delegation, rugby coach Neil Powell, also tested positive while at a training camp in the city of Kagashimo in southern Japan and is in isolation there.

Monyane and Mahlatsi are the first athletes to test positive while staying at the Olympic Village, which has been set up as a bubble in hopes of preventing the spread of disease among the 11,000 people traveling from around the world to compete in the games. According to South African officials, the positive results came up in daily testing, and the men had previously tested negative on their daily tests, as well as when they departed South Africa. Less than 3% of the South African population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"The timing of the positive results suggests that the PCR test in these individuals was done during the incubation period of the infection, which is how they could be negative in South Africa and then positive in Japan," Team South Africa chief medical officer Dr. Phatho Zondi said in a statement.

All other members of the South African delegation have continued to test negative.

As Japan continues to see COVID-19 cases and deaths, officials last week banned any spectators from attending the games. But with thousands of athletes and support staff traveling into the country, fear that the Olympics could become a super-spreader event remains, with even Japan's emperor reportedly voicing concern.

Since July 1, 55 people associated with the games have tested positive, most of them contractors.

Meanwhile, Olympic leaders have continued to say the competition is safe. On Thursday, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said that even with infections, there was "zero" risk that the virus will spread, pointing to the testing and isolation measures in place.

"Risk for the other residents of Olympic village and risk for the Japanese people is zero," he said.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

Read full article at BuzzFeed News

Olympics staffer arrested for allegedly raping woman at stadium

Kyodo News Plus 18 July, 2021 - 02:00pm

Police arrested a university student from Uzbekistan on Sunday on suspicion of raping a Japanese woman while the two were working part time at the National Stadium for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Davronbek Rakhmatullaev, 30, who had entered the stadium as staff to provide meals to the press, is suspected of sexually assaulting the woman in her 20s at seats and in an aisle at the venue around 9 p.m. Friday, the police said.

The suspect has denied the allegation, with the police quoting him as saying the woman did not resist. The two had never met before the incident.

The woman reported to police Saturday that she was raped by the suspect after they watched a rehearsal of the closing ceremony of the Olympics at the stadium.

The suspect entered Japan in 2014 and is currently on a leave of absence from a university in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, the police said. He is believed to have stayed at a hotel in Tokyo to go to work at the stadium.

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