Olympics-related COVID-19 cases on the rise Olympics-related COVID-19 cases on the rise

Olympics-related COVID-19 cases on the rise

    NHK World
    The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics reported 16 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday among people connected to the Games. That brings the total to 148 cases this month, including 16 athletes, and underscores the size of the challenge of keeping the world's biggest sporting event "safe and secure" in the midst of a pandemic.

    Monday's new cases included three athletes from overseas, an official from abroad who is staying in the Olympic Village, six others who are not staying in the village and four contract workers living in Japan.

    The men's golf event will now take place without two of its biggest stars. World number one Jon Rahm of Spain and sixth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of the US were both forced to withdraw after failing PCR tests. Rahm was philosophical in response, tweeting on Sunday that playing in Tokyo could have given him a gold medal for his country but "unfortunately destiny had other plans." He said it was a great reminder that the world is still in a pandemic and needs to fight together to get through it.

    Team Netherlands has been hit by a series of cases. As of Monday, six members had tested positive, including Taekwondo competitor Reshmie Oogink and rower Finn Florijn. A devastated Oogink said the news was career-ending. "I've overcome major knee injuries and now it's come to a sudden end," said the 31-year-old. "I'm speechless."

    Florijn was taking part in the men's single sculls rowing. The 21-year-old, whose father was also an Olympian, said he was frustrated by his performance in the heats and was hoping to do better in the main event. But he became the first athlete to test positive after competing and has gone into quarantine. He will not compete again at the Games.

    The organizing committee said on Monday that testing positive for the coronavirus doesn't automatically mean an exit from the Games. They said athletes would be allowed to continue as long as they have no symptoms and complete a 10-day isolation, or if they finish a six-day isolation and test negative in two tests taken 24 hours apart.

    The host city, meanwhile, is under a fourth state of emergency and battling a surge in coronavirus numbers driven by the Delta variant. Tokyo officials reported 1,429 new daily cases on Monday. That's the highest figure ever for a Monday, and almost double the number from a week earlier. It means the number of new cases has topped 1,000 for a seventh day in a row.

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