Advertisement

Tokyo Olympics records its first COVID-19 cluster

Greece's artistic swimming team was forced to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics and was moved into isolation from the athletes' village due to a cluster of COVID-19 infections. Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer/EPA-EFE
Greece's artistic swimming team was forced to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics and was moved into isolation from the athletes' village due to a cluster of COVID-19 infections. Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer/EPA-EFE

Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics confirmed the Games' first COVID-19 cluster infection on Wednesday, as 12 members of the artistic swimming delegation from Greece were moved out of the athletes' village and into isolation.

Four athletes and one team official tested positive, officials announced. Another seven tested negative, but were also relocated away from the village.

Advertisement

"Some [of the seven] have already been designated as close contacts, while the status of the others is still being determined," Tokyo Olympics organizing committee spokesman Masa Takaya said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

"In view of this situation, we proposed to the Greek Olympic committee that the seven should immediately be transferred to a holding facility outside the Olympic village."

RELATED Japan's COVID-19 cases rise 87% during first week of Olympics

"I have to say it is a cluster," Takaya said, adding that it was the first one of the games.

Greece's Olympic committee had previously announced the positive cases, which caused swimmers Evangelia Papazoglou and Evangelia Platanioti to withdraw from the duet event on Tuesday. Greek swimmers will also not be able to participate in the team event, which begins Friday.

Wednesday's confirmation came on a day that organizers announced their highest daily total of cases tied to the Olympics, with 29 individuals testing positive. Most were local contractors, along with volunteers and officials. One other foreign athlete tested positive, but organizers did not provide a country of origin.

Advertisement
RELATED Japan extends COVID-19 emergency for Tokyo, covers 4 new areas

The total since the start of the Games stands at 322 Olympic-related cases.

Tokyo remains under a state of emergency due to a surge of COVID-19 infections. The Japanese capital recorded a single-day high on Wednesday of 4,166 new cases, the Tokyo metropolitan government announced, breaking the previous record of just over 4,000 set Saturday.

Spectators have been banned from most events, with competitions playing out in mostly empty arenas.

RELATED Tokyo Governor calls for young people to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases reach record high

More than 500,000 screening tests for COVID-19 have been given to individuals associated with the Olympics, Takaya said Wednesday.

The Games' organizers said they believed that the cluster outbreak in the athlete's village would not diminish the sense of safety around the Games.

"The [Director]-General of the WHO [Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] said that we can never in any case, anywhere, say that there will be no infections -- that's just impossible," International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said Wednesday.

"What is important is how you deal with it, and working with the WHO we've come up with very good protocols...I hope, particularly with the [500,000] tests we've now carried out, that people will have confidence in these Games."

Breath-taking images from Tokyo Olympics

Greece's Paraskevi Papachristou competes during the triple jump qualifier on July 30. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines