Hotel that houses a Brazilian delegation has Covid cases

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A focus of coronavirus in a hotel of the Japan where dozens of members of Olympic delegation from Brazil are staying at home raises new concerns about infections during what the world’s top Olympic authority promised on Wednesday will be “historic” Games.

Just over a week before the opening ceremony, new cases linked to the Games and infections on the rise in Tokyo underscore the risks of hosting the biggest sporting event on the planet during a pandemic, even without spectators at the competition venues.

Seven employees at the hotel in the city of Hamamatsu, located southwest of Tokyo, have been diagnosed with coronaviruses, a city official said.

But the 31-member Brazilian delegation, which includes judo athletes, is in a “bubble” at the hotel, separate from the other guests, and has not been infected.

Tokyo, the host city where a state of emergency was imposed until after the Olympics ended on Aug. 8, also registered 1,149 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest number in nearly six months.

Highly contagious variants of the virus fuel the latest wave of infections, and the inability to vaccinate people faster leaves the population vulnerable.