Tokyo Olympics: Ugandan Team Member Confirmed With Highly Contagious Covid-19 Delta Variant

Tokyo Olympics: Ugandan Team Member Confirmed With Highly Contagious Covid-19 Delta Variant

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The Ugandan Olympic team member who tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan has been confirmed to have infected with the Delta variant, Japan’s Olympic Minister Marukawa Tamayo said here on Friday.

A Ugandan whose names are still withheld reportedly a coach in the nine-member delegation tested positive after arriving at Tokyo’s Narita Airport on Saturday last week and now it has been confirmed that he has been infected with the highly contagious Delta variant first detected in India.

The man has no symptoms, according to a health ministry official, but a second member tested positive for the virus after traveling to Izumisano City of Osaka Prefecture for a pre-Olympic training camp.

Two drivers and two attendants who were on the bus, as well as three city officials, have been designated as having had close contact with the infected team members.

The incident caused an immediate stir in Japan, where a majority of people polled by Japanese media are against the Olympics going ahead in its current format. Several media outlets also claim it proves the difficulty of creating a secure bubble for the Olympics.

Japanese infectious disease experts have warned that signs of another COVID-19 rebound in Tokyo are beginning to emerge only days after the capital’s state of emergency was lifted.

A total of 562 positive cases were confirmed in the Japanese capital on Friday. The figure is up 109 from a week earlier, marking a week-on-week increase of more than 100 for the third day in a row.

The Delta variant also could account for half of all new cases in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area by early July, according to projections by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the Japan Times said.

According to the  Director-General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros  Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the COVID-19’s delta variant is the most transmissible mutation to date.

Dr Ghebreyesus told journalists at a regular briefing on Friday that Delta has been identified in at least 85 countries and is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated populations. A surge in cases translates to more hospitalizations, which continue to stretch healthcare workers and health systems while putting more at risk of death, according to the WHO chief.

“that’s what viruses do, they evolve” and stressed that by preventing transmission, we can stem the emergence of variants.   “It’s quite simple: more transmission, more variants. Less transmission, fewer variants”, Tedros spelled out, upholding that it is even more urgent today to prevent transmission by consistently using public health and social measures along with vaccines.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Lead on COVID-19, said, “the world situation is very fragile” and “countries must be cautious”.   Noting that Delta has proved “extremely contagious in any country it reaches”, she cautioned that it is being transmitted among unvaccinated people, “even in countries with high percentages of immunization”. “The delta variant can make the epidemic curve exponentially”, added Dr Van Kerkhove.

 

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