Public/Global Health

Japan strengthens health controls as Olympic athlete tests positive for COVID-19

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Japan is planning to strengthen its health controls after two Ugandan Olympic team members tested positive for COVID-19, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

The first Ugandan team member, a coach, tested positive for the virus on arrival at Tokyo’s Narita airport and remained in quarantine there. 

The second team member tested positive three days later, causing seven town officials and drivers to self-isolate and other team members to quarantine at a local hotel. 

Both of the Ugandan team members tested positive for the delta variant of the virus, according to the AP. 

Tokyo Medical Association Chairman Haruo Ozaki told Japanese state TV that the Ugandan positive cases are a result of how the country’s health borders can be easily breached. 

This comes as Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga rushed to the airport where the members tested positive, vowing to make the “appropriate border controls” as a growing number of athletes are headed to the country. 

Government officials defended the airport safety, saying that they have “properly detected and isolated the positive case,” adding that it wasn’t their job to do so, according to the AP. 

Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita in a news conference urged the government to do more instead of putting most of the responsibilities on health officials. 

Tokyo, which is slated to host the Olympics on July 23, has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases, with 317 on Monday, the ninth consecutive day of increases, the AP noted.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 health protocols Japan Olympics Tokyo

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