Only ONE THIRD of people in Japan believe the country can host a safe Olympics after athletes’ village plunged into Covid chaos – just four days before Tokyo’s opening ceremony
Two-thirds of people in Japan do not believe the country can host a safe Olympics amid a new wave of coronavirus infections, according to a survey published by Asahi newspaper just four days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo.
In the poll, 68 percent of respondents expressed doubts about Olympic organizers’ ability to control coronavirus infections, and 55 percent said they were against the Games going ahead.
Three quarters of 1,444 people in the telephone survey said they agreed with a decision to ban spectators from events.
South Korean swim team wears protective face masks and shields upon arrival in Japan
Two-thirds of people in Japan don’t believe the country can host a safe Olympics
The South African soccer team announced that two of their players had tested positive. They were named as players Thabiso Monyane (right) and Kamohelo Mahlatsi (left)
As the number of Covid-19 cases mounts in Tokyo, where the fourth state of emergency is in effect, public concern has grown that hosting an event with tens of thousands of foreign athletes, officials and journalists could accelerate the infection rate in the Japanese capital and could lead to variants. introduce those more contagious or deadlier.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has said he hopes the Japanese public will warm up for the Games once the competition starts and the Japanese athletes start winning medals. The Tokyo Olympics will run from July 23 to August 8.
Games officials on Sunday reported the first Covid-19 case among competitors in the Tokyo athletes’ village, where 11,000 athletes are expected to stay during the Games. Since July 2, Tokyo 2020 organizers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.
Any major outbreak in the village could wreak havoc on competitions as those infected or isolated would not be able to compete. Olympic officials and individual event organizers have contingency plans to deal with infections among athletes.
On Sunday, six British track and field athletes along with two staffers had to isolate themselves after someone tested positive for Covid-19 on their flight to Japan.
The South African soccer team also announced that two of their players had tested positive. They were named as players Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi.
Team GB members check in at Heathrow Terminal 5 before leaving London for the Tokyo Olympics, amid news that six British Olympic athletes and two team staff are also in self-isolation in Tokyo after coming into contact with a Covid virus. positive contact
Covid cases in Toyko increase with 1,300 cases recorded on July 15 (pictured)
Current covid cases are the highest numbers in the Japanese capital in the past six months
Positive Covid cases and self-isolation by country
Positive Covid Tests:
South Africa – 3
Czech Republic – 1
IOC’s Olympic Refugee Team – 2
Great Britain – 8
Australia – Until 194 (all athelets on the country’s team were forced to isolate for just a matter of hours)
Video analyst Mario Masha of the South African squad also tested positive on arrival in Tokyo as the team prepares to face host Japan on Thursday.
Mahlatsi and Monyane are the first athletes in the village to report positively, adding to the uncertainty surrounding the Tokyo Olympics that will finally go ahead on Friday after a year of delay due to the pandemic.
“Many athletes may have parties or ceremonies before going to Tokyo where cheers or greetings can be given. So they may also be at risk of getting infected in their own country,” said Koji Wada, a professor at Tokyo’s International University of Health and Welfare and an advisor on the government’s response to the coronavirus.
The latest surge in cases in Tokyo comes after four previous waves, the deadliest of which was in January. New cases of Covid-19 in Tokyo reached 1,410 on Saturday, the highest number since the beginning of the year, with new infections exceeding 1,000 for five consecutive days.
Most of those new cases are among younger people, as Japan has managed to get most of its frail elderly vaccinated with at least one shot, although only 32 percent of the total population has received one so far.
As the start of the Olympics approached, Tokyo imposed traffic restrictions on Monday, designating reserved lanes for Olympic officials, athletes and journalists traveling between venues.
Transport authorities have also increased tolls by 1,000 yen (£6.61) for private vehicles using the network of elevated highways that wind through the city to reduce traffic during the Games.