First covid-19 Olympic casualties identified

by Miguel Hernandez

(ATR) Three days before the official opening of the Olympic Games, with the increasing arrival of delegations to Tokyo, the number of people detected with Covid-19 has also increased.

As of this Tuesday, the number of infections has reached 71 since July 1st, the last one corresponding to a Chilean athlete.

The Chilean Olympic Committee revealed in a communiqué, after being authorized by the athlete, that it is Fernanda Aguirre, classified in Taekwondo. Previously she had been confirmed by the organization of the event and the Ministry of Health of Japan as a positive case.

Fernanda Aguirre (COC)

Aguirre had traveled from Uzbekistan to Tokyo with the negative PCR tests required by the Organizing Committee, and tested positive in both the antigen tests and the subsequent nasopharyngeal PCR performed at Narita airport.

She was subsequently sent to a medical residence and not to the Olympic Village, as indicated by the protocol of these Olympic Games, postponed a year ago due to the world epidemiological situation.

The athlete, bronze medalist at the Pan American Games of Lima 2019, is asymptomatic and in good health, the statement said.

Unfortunately, Aguirre will not be able to compete in her event because the Japanese health authorities impose a quarantine of at least 10 days in these cases.

The tests of her trainer, José Zapata, were negative, but he will have to comply with a preventive quarantine in the assigned sanitary residence. In both cases, the Mission team of the Chilean Olympic Committee has expressed all the necessary support “within what the local authorities allow us”, said the note.

On Monday it was known that the Czech beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic was infected and will miss the opening match against Japan on the 24th.

He is the third athlete from the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19.

The beach volleyball player is the second positive member of the team. The first one corresponds to the health personnel, according to reports in the press of that country.

Perusic, who is asymptomatic, traveled to Tokyo vaccinated with two doses.

Also on Monday, Kara Eaker, an alternate for the U.S. women’s artistic gymnastics team, was said to have tested positive, although she had not yet arrived at the Olympic Village.

Eaker has been moved to a hotel where she will be quarantined, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Leanne Wong, also an alternate, is in isolation after being considered a close contact.

Organizers confirmed Tuesday nine other new infections in Japan among people associated with the Games since July 1.

Earlier in the day, Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi were identified as the South African footballers who were the first Tokyo 2020 athletes to test positive for COVID-19 inside the Village.

A total of 18 individuals have been identified as close contacts and, under current rules, must eat in their rooms, train separately from other teammates, take dedicated transportation and undergo daily COVID-19 testing.

In addition to the case of Chile, athletes from Uganda, Israel and Serbia have tested positive but none of them were in the Village.

It was also reported that two players of the Mexican national baseball team tested positive for Covid-19 before traveling to the Olympic venue. Mexico opens the Olympic tournament against the Dominican Republic on July 30.

The sports program begins this Wednesday with the women’s softball and soccer competitions, two days before the opening ceremony.


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