Osaka, Japan – A member of Uganda’s Olympic team has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Reports reaching this website indicate that the Ugandan member was barred entry into Japan, in the first detected infection among athletes arriving for the Tokyo Games opening in five weeks.
The eight other members of the team left early on Sunday by chartered bus for host town Osaka, central Japan, where COVID-19 cases are still being reported.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, a minister in charge of economic policy, said on Japan’s NHK TV Sunday that the government was looking into what had happened with border controls.
News Agency, Aljazeera reported that the athletes, arriving late on Saturday at Tokyo’s Narita airport, were all fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jabs and had negative PCR tests before boarding, the Asahi newspaper reported, quoting an anonymous Cabinet Secretariat official.
The Ugandan team member who tested positive was not identified.
NHK said the individual will be staying at a government-designated facility.
The Ugandan team was the second, after the Australian women’s softball team, to arrive for the Olympics, which open on July 23.
Uganda is seeing an alarming rise in COVID-19 variants and has just tightened lockdown measures. About 590 deaths have been reported, prompting Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni to institute a 42-day suspension of public and private transport and curfew reinstated at 7pm.
“All cross-boundary district & intra-district movement of public transport; by private vehicles, or bodas is hereby suspended for 42 days effective today (Friday, June 18). No movement of Public & private vehicles. Don’t move! stay where you are,” said Museveni in a televised national address.
In Japan, a state of emergency to curb the spread of the virus in Tokyo, Osaka and other urban areas ends on Sunday, although daily cases are still growing by several hundred.
There has been no lockdown in Japan. The so-called emergencies, which have lasted for most of this year, focus on having restaurants and stores close early, limiting crowd size at venues, and asking people to social distance, work from home and wear masks.
The vaccination rate in Japan is the slowest among developed nations, with about six percent of the population fully vaccinated. Although the rollout is gradually picking up, most people are unlikely to be fully vaccinated ahead of the Olympics.
More than 14,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Japan.