Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Olympics-Athletes' village COVID-19 isolation bubble already 'broken' - health expert

Coronavirus Jul 20, 2021 05:31AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A silhouette of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Athletes' Village is seen in Tokyo, Japan, July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Naoki Ogura 2/2

By Rocky Swift

TOKYO (Reuters) -The isolation bubble system that Olympic organisers have set up at the Tokyo Games village to control COVID-19 is already broken, and there is a risk that infections could spread more widely from inside it, a prominent public health expert said on Tuesday.

Games officials on Sunday reported the first coronavirus case among competitors in the village in Tokyo where 11,000 athletes are expected to stay. There have been 67 cases detected among those accredited for the Games since July 1, organisers said on Tuesday.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said last week that testing and quarantine protocols would leave "zero" risk of Games participants infecting residents in Japan.

Kenji Shibuya, the former director of the Institute for Population Health at King's College London, said such declarations only served to confuse and anger people as actual conditions on the ground were "totally opposite".

"It's obvious that the bubble system is kind of broken," said Shibuya, who in April co-authored a British Medical Journal commentary that said the Olympics must be "reconsidered" due to Japan's inability to contain coronavirus cases.

"My biggest concern is, of course, there will be a cluster of infections in the village or some of the accommodation and interaction with local people."

Insufficient testing at the bubble's border and the impossibility of controlling people's movements mean that the Games could exacerbate the spread of the infectious Delta variant of the virus, he said.

Continual reports of cases that went undetected at the airport, along videos showing interaction between athletes, staff and journalists, add to concerns that airborne transmission will occur within the village and venues, he added.

New COVID-19 cases in Tokyo reached 1,410 on Saturday, a near six month high, while the Games are due to start in just three days.

Public health experts have warned that seasonal factors, increased mobility, and the spread of the Delta variant could lead to a surge past 2,000 cases per day in Tokyo by next month, levels that could drive the city's medical system to breaking point.

Just 33% of people in Japan have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, among the lowest rate among wealthy countries, according to a Reuters tracker. The vaccination push has gained steam since last month, but recently ebbed due to supply and logistical snags.

By contrast, Soma City in the northern prefecture of Fukushima, where Shibuya headed its vaccination efforts, recently completed the bulk of its inoculations, far ahead of most of Japan.

Olympics-Athletes' village COVID-19 isolation bubble already 'broken' - health expert
 

Related Articles

China to discourage abortions to boost low birth rate
China to discourage abortions to boost low birth rate By Reuters - Aug 16, 2022

By Farah Master and Albee Zhang HONG KONG (Reuters) - China will discourage abortions and take steps to make fertility treatment more accessible as part of efforts to boost one of...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email