SPORTS


19 Olympic-linked COVID cases reported on opening ceremony day

Baku, July 23, AZERTAC

Nineteen people, three of them staying at the Tokyo Olympic athletes' village, have newly tested positive for the coronavirus, the organizing committee of the games said Friday, the day of opening ceremony, according to Kyodo News.

The latest infections - the highest in a 24-hour span since infections began being reported on July 1 - include three athletes, two of them from the Czech Republic and one from the Netherlands, according to the committee. The remaining 16 people with Olympic credentials include three contractors and three members of the media.

The Czech Olympic Committee said in a statement Thursday its infected athletes are women's beach volleyball player Marketa Slukova and road cyclist Michal Schlegel. The Dutch athlete is female taekwondoka Reshmie Oogink, according to her country's Olympic body.

COVID-19 infections have continued to take a toll among Olympic attendees now in Japan, with 106 total cases recorded since July 1. The daily tally of the organizing committee has not included athletes and team officials testing positive at pre-games training camps.

The first case at the athletes' village was reported last Saturday. The person was listed as a person affiliated with the games from overseas.

Athletes identified as having been in close contact with those testing positive can still take part in competition as long as they test negative within six hours of the start of their event.

The Olympics will officially open Friday night as Tokyo remains under its fourth state of emergency, which will last until Aug. 22, covering the entire duration of the games that end Aug. 8.

Almost all Olympic events, including the opening show in the National Stadium, will be staged without spectators as a precaution against the spread of the virus.

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