Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics said Thursday that a police officer tested positive for COVID-19 a day after his assignment last week in the Olympic torch relay. (More sports news)
It is the first positive test connected to the relay since it began on March 25 in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima.
Organizers say the 30-year-old policeman was assigned to control traffic on the April 17 stretch in southwestern Kagawa prefecture. They said the officer developed symptoms and tested positive the next day. Local health authorities are investigating.
Authorities say the policeman wore a mask and took precautions for social distancing and other measures.
The report comes as Japan prepares to declare a third state of emergency in western metropolitan areas around Osaka and in Tokyo. It is expected for Friday and will reset after current measures failed to stem the most recent resurgence fueled by a new, more contagious variant of the virus previously detected in Britain.
Japan had 541,496 cases and 9,710 deaths as of Tuesday. These results are good by world standard, but poor in Asia. Without mandatory lockdowns, people in Japan have become less cooperative with preventive measures.
Organizers said that all participants and officials are taking the best precautions and that the case will not affect the later stages of the torch events.
The torch relay involves 10,000 runners touring Japan over four months, ending in arrival at the National Stadium on July 23 to kick off the scheduled opening ceremony.
As a precaution, the legs were run last week in an Osaka city park and removed from public roads. Something similar is expected for some stages on May 1 and 2 on the southern island of Okinawa.Source