Back
Australian Olympic Team

Tokyo 2020 Olympics COVID-19 Cases Rise

W
ith the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games set to begin on Friday with the Opening Ceremony, the organisers have been left enforcing strict COVID-19 biosecurity protocols.

The Olympic Games organising committee has reported over 10 new COVID-19 cases relating to the Games, with four athletes testing positive for COVID-19, not including two international tennis stars who withdrew before traveling to Tokyo.

As part of the confirmed cases, two members of media, seven contractors, and five Games personnel have been listed by the organisers.

Within the Olympic Village in Tokyo, two members of the South African football team tested positive for COVID-19, but are the only athletes from within the Village to be identified at this point.

A large number of the Australian Olympic Team arrived in Japan over the weekend via a charter flight, where the passengers then had to wait a reported four and a half hours to receive COVID-19 tests.

Speaking about the process, Australian Olympic Committee deputy chef de mission, Susie O’Neill, said: “We were expecting six hours’ wait here.”

“We’re really happy with all the protocols that are in place.

“We just got a test then, like every other athlete that comes into the Village, a test every day.

“They’ve picked up this [person] who’s tested positive, so we see that as a good thing.

“It shows the protocols are working,” she said.

Meanwhile, as Olympians and Olympic staff arrive in Japan, the capital city of Tokyo remains in a state of emergency, with reports the daily case numbers in Tokyo could rise to 2,400 from its current 1,300 by the end of the Olympic Games.

Two tennis stars, Australian Alex de Minaur, and American, Coco Gauff, have both withdrawn from the upcoming Olympics after returning positive tests for COVID-19.

Speaking on de Minaur’s positive COVID-19 test, Australian chef de mission, Ian Chesterman, said: “We are very disappointed for Alex and he is shattered, not being able to come.”

“It has been his dream to represent Australia at the Olympic Games since he was a child, but he sent his best wishes for the team.

“We do know that no other tennis players have had physical contact with Alex since he left Wimbledon on July 5, where he tested negative.

“All other Australian players have tested negative since.

“We look forward to welcoming those athletes into our team…

“The whole Olympic movement needs to make sure that when players, athletes arrive in Japan, they are in a situation where they are free of COVID-19.

“We need to protect this bubble and Alex has been caught up in that system, but it does show that the system is working, and while we will miss Alex, he understands the reasons why he cannot be with us,” he said.