A Ugandan team member tested positive on Saturday at Tokyo’s Narita airport and was quarantined there. The remainder of the Olympic athletes, the nine-person squad, was authorized to travel more than 500 kilometers on a chartered vehicle to their pre-Olympics camp in the western territorial division of Osaka.
Three days later, a second Ugandan team member was also tested positive for the virus, requiring seven town officers and drivers, who had close communication with the team, to self-isolate. The team members were quarantined at a regional hotel.
Government officers initially upheld the airport health management as having appropriately detected and sequestering the positive case and said that contact tracing and isolation of those doubted of having close contact was not their duty but that of local health officers.
Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, vowed to intensify health regulations at airports after two of the Ugandan Olympic team members tested positive for COVID-19 at the town hosting their practice camp, arousing concerns that the upcoming games will surely circulate infections.
The panic situation intensifies after it was announced that both Ugandan team members had the delta variant of the virus, which is believed to spread more easily and is labelled as a variant of concern by the FDA.
Revamped measures for Olympic athletes:
Chief Cabinet Secretary, Katsunobu Kato revealed that Japan intends to amp up quarantine regulations for Olympic athletes and other participants from regions where the delta variant has been detected. Requiring virus tests for every seven days before departure to Japan and up to 14 days after the entrance and also practicing in isolation in the first three days is deemed mandatory.
“No matter what precautions you take, infected people would come in and it is inevitable,” Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita said at a news conference in Tokyo.
Tokyo on Monday reported 317 new cases, the ninth consecutive day of week-on-week increase, with a rise in cases of the delta variant. That could stimulate the revival of the virus to extreme levels that might impose another state of emergency during the Olympics.
Source: The Japan Times