KEY POINTS

  • A third Olympic athlete has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Organizers noted that the athlete is "non-Japanese"
  • Athletes who test positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to compete

Tokyo Olympics organizers on Sunday confirmed that three athletes have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 as more people arrive at the athlete’s village ahead of the Games. 

Organizers revealed that a third athlete has tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the August start of the Olympics. The athlete, whose identity was not released by the organizers, was not staying in the Olympic village at the time. The organizers noted that the athlete was “non-Japanese,” as reported by the Associated Press.

Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, members of South Africa’s Olympic football team, also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after arriving at the Olympic Village in Tokyo, Japan. They are the first athletes to be diagnosed with the virus in the village. 

Organizers for the games did not release the athlete’s identities, only noting that they were “non-Japanese.” However, the South African Football Association later confirmed their identities and revealed that the entire team has been placed under quarantine.

“Every member of Team South Africa required full medical clearance as an eligibility criteria. In addition, they were encouraged to isolate for two weeks pre-departure, monitor health daily, report any symptoms, and produce two negative nasopharyngeal PCR tests taken within 96 hours of departure, as per Tokyo 2020 requirements,” Dr. Phatho Zondi, the team’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.

Some athletes have pulled out of the games due to the coronavirus pandemic, including Australian tennis superstar Nick Kygios and Liz Cambage, an Australian basketball player. At least 10,000 volunteers have also quit, CNN reported.

Organizers have put up signs reminding the residents of the Olympic village to wear masks and practice social distancing. Athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 will undergo contract tracing and will not be allowed to compete at the Games. 

The announcement of new cases comes as Tokyo’s infection rates continue to climb among the general population, with health officials reporting more than 1,000 new cases daily for four consecutive days.

Tokyo has also been placed under its fourth state of emergency. This means the Tokyo venues will not allow any spectators

As of Friday, over 15,000 athletes have entered Japan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. As of writing, more than 45 people affiliated with the Games, including media, contractors and personnel, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to NPR

Just one week remains until the opening ceremony of the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics Just one week remains until the opening ceremony of the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics Photo: AFP / Behrouz MEHRI