Tokyo Olympics Covid Cases Hit 71 as Opening Ceremony Nears

Tokyo’s Olympic organizers reported 71 cases of Covid-19 linked to the event, just days before the opening ceremony is set to kick off the delayed games.

Of the total, 31 were international visitors tied to the event, among the tens of thousands expected to travel to Japan to compete or work at the Olympics. The tally accounts for announced cases since July 2.

While the total of infections is small compared with the number of athletes and staff involved, it adds to concern around the games, where public support has been low. Tokyo is grappling with a surge in coronavirus cases that prompted the government to declare a fourth state of emergency in the capital earlier this month.

Athletes don’t have to be vaccinated to compete. But Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee’s president, said last week that about 85% of the Olympic Village’s residents will arrive in Japan vaccinated and almost all of the IOC members and staff will be immunized as well.

Cases continued to rise in Tokyo, with 1,387 confirmed on Tuesday compared to 830 a week ago. The seven-day average has roughly doubled over the past two weeks.

On Monday, a female U.S. gymnast tested positive for during a pre-Olympic training camp in Inzai, a city northeast of Tokyo. The news came after American tennis star Coco Gauff withdrew from the games after contracting Covid before her trip to Japan and two South African footballers tested positive.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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