Olympics: First athletes test positive for Covid-19 in Olympic Village

TOKYO (AFP) – Two athletes have become the first to test positive for the coronavirus in the Tokyo Olympic Village, officials said on Sunday (July 18), just days before the pandemic-delayed Games open.

The cases will heighten concerns over the Olympics, which are facing opposition in Japan over fears that they will bring new cases to a country already battling a surge in infections.

A daily tally of new cases revealed two athletes tested positive in the Village and one elsewhere. They come a day after an unidentified person, who was not a competitor, became the first case in the Village.

The Olympic Village, also known as the Athletes’ Village, is a complex of apartments and dining areas that will house 6,700 athletes and officials at its peak when the 2020 Games, delayed last year over the pandemic, finally get under way on Friday.

The Tokyo Olympics, which will be held largely behind closed doors to prevent infections, are unpopular in Japan, where opinion polls have consistently demonstrated a lack of support.

On Saturday, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach appealed for Japanese fans to get behind the Games, saying he was “very well aware of the scepticism” surrounding the event.

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