Rising anxiety over COVID-19 is dominating the focus on the Tokyo Olympics ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony, as infections emerging this week have sidelined athletes from the Games.
After the pandemic sparked a yearlong delay of the Olympics, the virus is continuing to wreak havoc for the Games as dozens of athletes and staff have tested positive in the days leading up to the global competition.
Organizers said as of Tuesday that 71 COVID-19 cases have been identified as connected to the Tokyo Olympics, including 31 among the international visitors flocking to the Japanese capital for the Games.
Brian McCloskey, a health adviser to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said earlier this week that the case count was “actually extremely low and probably lower than we expected to see if anything.”
“If I thought all tests we did would be negative, then I wouldn’t bother doing the tests in the first place,” he said during a briefing. “We do the tests because they are a way of filtering out people who might be developing an infection who might become a risk later.”
Public health experts say these cases are inevitable as the pandemic continues worldwide, but strict mitigation measures have a chance of containing the virus and halting serious outbreaks at the Olympics.
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Source: the Hill, By Justine Coleman