Tokyo Olympics: Two South African footballers test positive for Covid-19

Credit: AP

Two South African football players have become the first to test positive for Covid-19 in the Tokyo Olympic Village.

The pair, who were named by the South African Football Association as Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, are among 10 new Games-related cases announced on Sunday.

Another athlete had tested positive but this person was not residing in the Olympic Village. This athlete was also identified as “non-Japanese.”

Local people cheer the torch in Fukushima Credit: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

It comes after the first coronavirus case inside the Olympic village was confirmed on Saturday, although the person was an event organiser.

Organisers say since the beginning of July, 55 people linked to the Olympics have reported positive tests. That figures includes athletes or others who may have arrived for training camps but are not yet under the “jurisdiction” of the organizing committee.

The Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay will house 11,000 Olympic athletes and thousands of other support staff.

South Africa's team manager Mxolisi Sibam said in a statement: "Masha and Monyane reported high temperatures and positive saliva tests, and were then taken to do the nasal test…and they unfortunately tested positive for Covid-19."

Athletes began arriving in Tokyo on Thursday. Credit: AP

IOC president Bach insisted on Thursday that the risk of the Japanese public being infected with the virus by a Games participant is “zero”.

Tokyo recorded 1,410 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the highest in six months. It was the 28 straight day that cases were higher than seven days previous.

The Olympics will open on Friday under a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. The emergency order lasts until August 22. The Olympics close on August 8.

Fans — local and fans from abroad — have been banned for all Olympic events in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures. As few outlying venues may allow a smattering of local fans.