The first case of COVID-19 was reported at Tokyo’s Olympic village, raising concerns for upcoming games

Protesters hold a 'No Olympics' banner during a protest against the Tokyo Olympics on May 9, 2021 in Tokyo.
Protesters hold a ‘No Olympics’ banner during a protest against the Tokyo Olympics on May 9, 2021 in Tokyo. Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images
  • An organizer for the games has tested positive for COVID-19- the first case in the Olympic village.
  • Days before this, a petition with 350,000 signatures was submitted calling to cancel the games
  • Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto has said organizers are working to keep the games “safe and secure”.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The first case of COVID-19 has been reported in the Olympic village at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, July 17th, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto revealed that a person from overseas, involved in organizing the games, had tested positive for COVID-19.

Muto has stated any identifying features of the person, including their nationality, would not be released to the public due to privacy concerns.

The person is now quarantining outside of the Olympic village.

This incident only adds to rising concerns about the games. A recent study by broadcaster Fuji Television shows that more than 1 in 3 people in Japan – of whom only around 20% are fully vaccinated – believe the games should be canceled.

In a statement, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto acknowledged the public’s concerns.

“I understand that there are still many worrying factors. Organizers must try to make sure that people will understand that these games are safe and secure,” she told a news conference on Saturday.

This case is the first at the athletes’ village – the temporary home to most of the 11,000 competitors – but is one of more than 40 connected with the games.

Organizers are working to limit the possible spread of COVID-19, having introduced Olympics “bubbles,” but medical experts are worried they might not be sufficient to contain the virus.

The Olympic games have faced many challenges over the past 12 months – from being canceled due to the coronavirus to recent concerns over the organizers’ treatment of Black athletes.