Uganda Team Member Kicked Out Of Tokyo Olympics After Testing COVID-19 Positive

Uganda Team Member Kicked Out Of Tokyo Olympics After Testing COVID-19 Positive

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By Spy Uganda

A member of Uganda’s Olympic team has tested positive for the coronavirus and was barred entry into Japan, in the first detected infection among athletes arriving for the Tokyo Games opening in five weeks.

The eight other members of the team left early on Sunday by chartered bus for host town Osaka, central Japan, where COVID-19 cases are still being reported.

The team member who tested positive was not identified.

NHK said the individual will be staying at a government designated facility.

The Ugandan team was the second, after the Australian women’s softball team, to arrive for the Olympics, which open July 23.

Uganda is seeing an alarming rise in COVID-19 variants and has just tightened lockdown measures. About 590 deaths have been reported, likely an undercount, given the scarcity of testing.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, a minister in charge of economic policy, said on NHK TV Sunday that the government was looking into what had happened with border controls.

The athletes, arriving late on Saturday at Tokyo’s Narita airport, were all fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jabs and had negative PCR tests before boarding.

Critics have raised serious questions about the risks of holding the Olympics amid a pandemic. But the International Olympic Committee, Tokyo organizers and Japanese government insist the Games can be held safely.

“Let’s all wait a minute,” opposition legislator Renho said on her Twitter account. “This time, nine people arrived. For the Olympics, 100,000 people will be arriving. This is no time to be talking about how this will be a moving experience for our children.”

Japan requires a two-week quarantine for overseas arrivals, but the Olympic team isn’t subject to the same border controls.

The organizers are expected to decide on Monday on allowing some local fans in the stands. Plans for mass public viewing sites in Tokyo were canceled Saturday.

Fans from abroad were banned several months ago. Before the pandemic, Japan had been counting on the Olympics to deliver booming tourism and consumer spending.

In Japan, a state of emergency to curb the spread of the virus in Tokyo, Osaka and other urban areas ends on Sunday, although daily cases are still growing by several hundred and this has seen over 14,000 people dead from the virus.

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