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Tokyo 2020

Brazil's judo camp threatened by virus scare at the Tokyo Olympics

Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, 8 members of the hotel staff tested positive for coronavirus, putting Brazil's judo team staying there in jeopardy.

Japanese Judoka Uta Abe

Judo team of Brazil faces virus scare at a Japanese hotel ahead of Olympics (Source:Olympics website)


Utsha Roy

Updated: 19 July 2021 5:03 AM GMT

Life all over the world is slowly returning to normalcy and sports authorities around the world have reconciled to the fact that sporting events will have to go on despite the onslaught of the coronavirus. However, dealing with the problem of containing the virus while still hosting major international tournaments has not been as easy as reconciling with the bitter truth.

Almost every major tournament held so far in the post-covid world has witnessed cases breaking out despite the strict bio-security bubble that the officials had tried to create and the Tokyo Olympics will be no different.

At least eight of the staff members of the Japanese hotel where the Brazilian judo team is being hosted have tested positive for COVID-19, as stated in the reports of local officials on Thursday.

The Health and Sport officials of the Hamamatsu city, West of Tokyo have reported that screening for the virus was carried out before the arrival of the 30 member Brazilian Judo delegation on Saturday. The report also states that none of the athletes have come in contact with the infected members of staff. A family member of one of the affected hotel staff has also been diagnosed with the virus.

This, despite the strict anti-infection measures placed upon the athletes, officials, and journalists. Any further panic among the team has been prevented as the Brazilian team has been given to understand that only healthy workers able to provide a negative covid test have been allowed inside the bubble said Yoshinobu Swada, a local sports official.

The incident coming at a time when the number of cases has been rising in the city of Tokyo has raised a few eyebrows. The city recorded 1,149 cases on Wednesday, which is the highest since last January leading to the tightening of restrictions, while the areas surrounding Tokyo have reported a relatively lower number of cases.

In response to the rising apprehension, IOC chief Thomas Bach has gone on record pledging "not to bring any risk" to Tokyo or Japan while hosting the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee, on the other hand, has stated that of the 8,000 (approx) people who have arrived in the country between July 1 and 13, only 3 have tested positive and have been duly isolated.

Other than the Brazilian Judo team, a staff member of the Russian Rugby team of 16 athletes and 10 staff members, which had landed at Tokyo on 10 of July, has tested positive for the virus and has been hospitalized, according to news reposted by the AFP. The rest of the team has been placed in house quarantine but will be allowed to resume training as early as Friday, provided that their tests return negative on Thursday.

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