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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Two athletes test positive for COVID-19 in Games Village

News Agencies | Updated on: 18 July 2021, 9:59 IST
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With just five days to go for the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics, the organising committee on Sunday informed the first cases of coronavirus have been detected at the Games Village among athletes.

According to Kyodo News, the Tokyo Olympic organising committee said two athletes who are staying at the Games Village and another participant who is outside the Village have tested positive for coronavirus.

This comes a day after it was reported that the first case of coronavirus was detected at the Games Village. However, the person found to be COVID-19 positive on Saturday was a non-athlete.

Meanwhile, after the latest meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB), IOC President Thomas Bach highlighted the successful implementation of the COVID-19 countermeasures outlined in the key stakeholder Playbooks and promised to bring the vibe of the world into the venues of Tokyo Olympics.

During the meeting, the IOC EB was informed by Tokyo 2020 that, between July 1 and 16, around 15,000 athletes, officials, and representatives from the media and other stakeholders had arrived in Tokyo.

Only 15 had tested positive on their arrival or during a screening test, accounting for 0.1 per cent of arrivals so far on Saturday.

Details were also shared about a state-of-the-art virtual audio experience that will be used in all venues. This will see sounds from individual sports from past Games broadcast through audio systems to create the effect of spectators despite their absence, providing strong, emotional connections with athletes.

Speaking about this, the IOC President said in a release: "We will make every effort to bring the vibe of the world into the venues. Billions of people around the world will follow the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 via rights-holding broadcasters and other digital and media platforms. These will be the most followed Games in Olympic history."

Further updates from the Tokyo 2020 organisers emphasised their Games readiness. This was illustrated through the full opening of the Olympic Village, International Broadcast Centre (IBC), and Main Press Centre (MPC) earlier this week, venues moving into operational mode, and the knowledge that athletes are making their final preparations.

As part of measures to manage the COVID-19 situation, the Organising Committee highlighted the decision made earlier this month that no spectators will be allowed to attend Tokyo 2020 events.

To mitigate the impact of this, the IOC shared details of its plans to connect billions of fans to this year's Games through unprecedented broadcast coverage and digital innovations.

These include the use of digital, real-time live cheer maps, fan videos that will be broadcast in venues, and the possibility for athletes to speak to close family and friends directly after they have competed.


First published: 18 July 2021, 9:59 IST