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First COVID case reported at Tokyo Olympic Village

July 19, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

AT least two soccer players and a video analyst from South Africa have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Olympic Village in Tokyo, Japan just a few 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.
The statement further shows that 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 travelling 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 left South Africa.

“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 SA chief medical officer, Dr Phatho Zondi said in the statement.
All other members of the SA team have continued to test negative.

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As Japan continues to see COVID-19 cases and deaths rise, 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.
This comes in the wake of the Lesotho delegation consisting of seven members including two athletes Khoarahlane Seutloali and his spouse ’Neheng Khatala, a team coach, Chef de Mission, Team Doctor, Covid-19 Liaison Officer and Team Administrator were unveiled at their farewell party in Maseru last Friday.
Both Seutloali and Khatala will compete in male and female marathons respectively.

The Lesotho National Olympic Committee was recognized by the International Olympic Committee on 1 January 1972. LeNA

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