The positive test is the first infection detected in athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics.
A member of the Uganda Olympic team tested positive for the coronavirus and was barred from entering Japan. This is the first time the infection has been detected among athletes who have arrived at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics in five weeks.
The other eight members of the team took a chartered bus to Osaka, the host city in central Japan, early on Sunday, where COVID-19 cases are still being reported.
The minister in charge of economic policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura, said on NHK TV on Sunday that the government is investigating what happened to border control.
“The Asahi Shimbun” quoted an anonymous Cabinet Secretariat official as reporting that all athletes who arrived at Tokyo’s Narita Airport on Saturday night were vaccinated with AstraZeneca and the PCR test results were negative before boarding.
The team members who tested positive have not yet been determined.
NHK stated that the person will live in a facility designated by the government.
Critics have seriously questioned the risks of hosting the Olympics during the pandemic. But the International Olympic Committee, Tokyo organizers and the Japanese government insist that the Olympics can be held safely.
“Let’s wait,” Opposition lawmaker Renhuo said on her Twitter account. “This time, nine people came. During the Olympics, 100,000 people will arrive. There is no time to talk about what a touching experience this will be for our children.”
Japan requires a two-week quarantine for overseas immigrants, but the Olympic team is not subject to the same border controls.
The organizers are expected to decide on Monday to allow some local fans to enter the stands. The plan to open a popular viewing site in Tokyo was cancelled on Saturday.
A few months ago, fans from abroad were banned. Before the pandemic, Japan had been counting on the Olympics to bring about booming tourism and consumer spending.
The Uganda team is the second team to arrive at the Olympics after the Australian women’s softball team. The Olympics will begin on July 23.
The number of variants of COVID-19 in Uganda has increased dramatically, and the lockdown has just been tightened. Considering the scarcity of detection, approximately 590 deaths have been reported, which may be an underestimation.
In Japan, the state of emergency to contain the spread of the virus in Tokyo, Osaka and other urban areas ended on Sunday, although the number of daily cases is still increasing by hundreds.
There is no lockdown in Japan. The so-called emergency has lasted for most of this year. The focus is on closing restaurants and shops early, limiting the size of the crowd at venues, and requiring people to maintain social distance, work from home, and wear masks.
The vaccination rate in Japan is the slowest among developed countries, with approximately 6% of the population vaccinated. Although promotion is gradually accelerating, it is unlikely that most people will be fully vaccinated before the Olympics.
In Japan, more than 14,000 people have died from the coronavirus.