Olympic organizers defend themselves after positive increase in the Games

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Tokyo-2020 organizers defended their coronavirus prevention strategy on Thursday after 24 new positive cases associated with the Games were registered, the highest daily number so far. At least 193 athletes, journalists, employees and contractors at the event tested positive for covid-19, according to data from Tokyo-2020, which does not include some cases recorded at airports and training centers.

On Wednesday, Japan reported 9,583 cases nationwide, breaking the 9,000 barrier for the first time and a record high in Tokyo. International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams noted that there is no evidence of a link between the hosting of the Games and the rise in contagion.

“As far as I know, there is not a single case of contagion of the Tokyo population by athletes or the Olympic movement,” Adams told the press. “We have the most tested community (for covid-19) from probably anywhere… in the world, in addition to having some of the strictest restrictions in Vila dos Athletes,” he said.

Organizers also insisted the Games are not putting further pressure on the Japanese medical system, as some experts warn that the spread of the pandemic could lead to a health crisis. Only two people linked to the Games are hospitalized, according to Olympic authorities, and half of those who needed care are receiving it from their own medical teams.

“Of the 310,000 detection tests, the positive rate is 0.02%,” said Adams. Of the people connected to the Games that had a positive result, 109 are residents in Japan and the rest are from abroad.