A day after Olympic organizers confirmed the first non-athlete case of COVID-19 in the Olympic village, the first athletes have tested positive five days before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.
The non-athlete, a video analyst, was a member of the South African Football Association, along with the two athlete cases: South African soccer players defender Thabiso Monyane and midfielder Kamohelo Mahlatsi. South Africa is set to play Japan in its first game of the men’s soccer competition on Thursday, July 22, at the Tokyo Stadium.
Olympic organizers also said Sunday that a non-Japanese athlete, who is not residing in the Olympic village, and the first International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, 2004 South Korean Olympic table tennis champion Ryu Seung-min, received positive COVID-19 tests. Seung-min was asymptomatic when tested, yet remains in isolation.
Since July 1st, Olympic organizers admit a total of 55 people linked to the Olympics have reported positive, not including athletes or others under the IOC jurisdiction. However, on Sunday, Tokyo reported 1,008 new COVID-19 cases, the 29th day in a row that the new cases number was higher than the previous week and fifth consecutive day with more than 1,000 reported cases.
The Olympic Village is set to house 11,000 Olympic athletes as well as an additional thousands of support staff in Tokyo Bay. Upon arrival to the Olympic village, all athletes had access to a COVID-19 vaccination, including against the newly-spawned variant.
The official opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics will begin on Friday July 23. The ceremony will also open while Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures are under a state of emergency, which went into order on July 12 and will last until August 22. The official closing ceremony is set for August 8. The Olympics this summer will also be held with no spectators, both local and international.