Olympics: Nigerian delegate first Tokyo Games visitor hospitalised with COVID-19

A member of the Nigerian Tokyo Olympics delegation became the first Olympics visitor admitted to hospital with COVID-19, Japan’s TV Asahi reported on Friday, as Japan battles to stem rising local infections with the Games a week away.

The person, a non-athlete in their 60s, tested positive on Thursday evening at the airport and had only mild symptoms but was hospitalised because of their age and pre-existing conditions, TV Asahi said, without giving further details.

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Earlier in the day, the Australian Olympic Committee said that Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur, ranked 15th in the world, had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his departure for the Tokyo Olympics, the latest athlete to see his Olympics dream shattered by the virus.

U.S. basketball star Bradley Beal’s Olympic dream was cut abruptly short on Thursday when USA Basketball announced the Washington Wizards star will miss the Tokyo Games after he entered coronavirus protocols at the training camp in Las Vegas.

Several COVID-19 cases have emerged involving athletes and others involved with the Games, which start July 23, even as infections spread in Tokyo and experts warn worse may lie ahead.

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Tokyo is under a state of emergency for the pandemic, but most steps to curb its spread are voluntary and many people say they have grown weary of complying.

“We’re very disappointed for Alex,” Australia’s Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman told reporters on Friday.

“He said that he’s shattered, not being able to come … but he has sent his very best wishes for the rest of the team.”

De Minaur returned two positive tests in Spain before he was due to fly to Japan, David Hughes, the AOC’s chief medical officer, told a news conference.

Organisers have promised that the Games, postponed last year because of the pandemic, will be “safe and secure” and imposed strict testing regimes and limits on delegates activities to try to soothe concerns amongst the general public, many of whom wanted the Games cancelled or postponed again. Exclusive By Reuters

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