Tokyo Olympics panic: 12 police officers guarding athletes test positive for Covid

TWELVE police officers guarding athletes in the Olympic Village have tested positive for coronavirus, sparking panic for the event.

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Those who tested positive, as well as around 38 of their colleagues, have been put into strict isolation after the outbreak. Tokyo 2020 organisers have previously downplayed the risk from Covid, despite rising case rates in Japan.

All the officers infected are in their 20’s and made up part of a special police detail for the Olympics.

They were part of 100 officers from the Hyogo province deployed to provide security for athletes at their accommodation during the Games.

The officers had been staying in small dormitory accommodation in a Tokyo suburb and had to share washing facilities.

Despite the outbreak, officers from the same Hyogo unit continue to man security posts at the Olympic Village and were seen interacting with the athletes and the public on Wednesday.

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A police officer stands at a security check point outside Tokyo International Forum which is being used as the Olympics venue for weightlifting and powerlifting

Olympics latest: Twelve police officers guarding the Olympic Village have tested positive for Covid (Image: PA)

This aerial photo dated Friday, July 23, 2021, shows the Olympic Village, center, in Tokyo's Harumi waterfront district, Japan

Olympics latest: Another 38 officers are isolating, meaning half of the 100-strong detail for the village is unable to guard it (Image: PA)

Tokyo 2020 organisers have attempted to downplay the outbreak in police officers.

Officers in the unit told MailOnline: “It’s only the Hyogo Prefectural Police who keep having these outbreaks of the coronavirus”, with one speculating the group “are cursed”.

One officer told the website: “There were not enough toilets or bathrooms at the police dormitory and it became too crowded.

“That is the cause of this virus cluster. The coronavirus is spreading and I am scared.

“Morale is so low. Some of the officers say that the coronavirus is more frightening than working at a natural disaster.”

Police outside the National Stadium ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games 23-Jul-2021

Olympics latest: One officer said ‘morale is so low’ due to the outbreak and cramped conditions for the guards (Image: PA)

OCTOBER 12, 2019: Athlete Candy Jacobs of the Netherlands competes in the 2019 European Street Skateboarding Championships

Olympics latest: Candy Jacobs has described the quarantine conditions at the Tokyo village as ‘inhuman’ (Image: PA)

It comes after Candy Jacobs, Netherlands Olympian for skateboarding, described quarantine conditions at the event as “inhuman”.

She has been in isolation for eight days and missed the street event in skateboarding’s debut as an Olympic sport.

According to the skateboarder, she had to force officials to allow her a supervised short break for some fresh air away from her room.

On her Instagram, she said: “Not having any outside air is so inhuman.

“It’s mentally super draining … definitely more than a lot of humans can handle.”


Officials of the Dutch Olympic committee also shared their fears about the quarantine conditions faced by four of their athletes and two team staff who tested positive for Covid.

The six Dutch team members, including 21-year-old rower Finn Florijn and Ms Jacobs, have been quarantined according to Tokyo 2020 protocols following positive tests.

Dutch technical director Maurits Hendriks described the quarantine situation as “very distressing” at a news conference.

He said: “It’s not what you expect from the Japanese organisation when it comes to isolating.”

Crowd of people cross the intersection of Shibuya shopping district of Tokyo, July 28, 2021

Olympics latest: Tokyo is in its fourth state of emergency due to Covid cases spiking (Image: PA)

Olympics latest: 3,177 cases of Covid were recorded in Tokyo on Wednesday, with 169 related to the Olympics

Olympics latest: 3,177 cases of Covid were recorded in Tokyo on Wednesday, with 169 related to the Olympics (Image: EXPRESS)

On Wednesday, Tokyo registered a record 3,177 new coronavirus cases.

Kanagawa governor Yuji Kuroiwa told reporters: “I think we’ve entered a trend of sharp rises in cases, which I had feared the most.”

Tokyo is also under its fourth state of emergency due to Covid, which is due to last through the Olympics.

Olympics organizers reported 16 new Games-related cases, for a total of 169 since July 1.

Japan has seen a total of 882,823 cases and 15,152 deaths from Covid, according to Worldometers.

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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