Stricter anti-virus rules set for Tokyo Olympics after Uganda team infections



Olympic teams should be immediately isolated if they arrive in Japan with any member found infected with coronavirus, a Tokyo Olympics official said on June 27.

Hidemasa Nakamura, a senior Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games official, said that it is "highly probable that people will come into close contact with an infected person if they travel on the same plane."

"We'll immediately prepare a system to isolate and test them even before making a determination (whether they had close contact with an infected person)," he said in a program discussing anti-pandemic measures by public broadcaster NHK.

Members of the Ugandan Olympic delegation arrive at Narita airport in Tokyo, Japan, June 19, 2021. /CFP

The stricter anti-virus proposal came after two of the nine-member Ugandan Olympic delegation tested positive for the virus earlier this month and one was confirmed later to have the Delta variant.

One person was confirmed infected with the coronavirus during screening at Tokyo's Narita airport on June 19, and the rest of the team traveled on a chartered bus to Izumisano in Osaka prefecture.

Local health authorities later determined that the entire team – as well as eight other people, including host-city officials and bus drivers – had been in close contact with the two infected individuals, Kyodo News reported.

Serena Williams of the United States attends a press conference ahead of the Wimbledon tennis event in London, England, June 27, 2021. /CFP

Williams among top tennis players to skip Tokyo Olympics

Serena Williams will not be traveling to Tokyo for the Olympic Games, the 23-times Grand Slam singles tennis champion from the U.S. said on Sunday without giving the reasons behind her decision.

Williams, who will turn 40 in September, won the singles title at the London Olympics in 2012, and she has also picked up three gold medals in doubles with sister Venus – in Sydney (2000), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

"Yeah, I'm actually not on the Olympic list, so... Not that I'm aware of. If so, then I shouldn't be on it," Williams told reporters on the eve of the Wimbledon Grand Slam.

Top men's players like Rafael Nadal of Spain and Dominic Thiem of Austria have also opted to skip the Tokyo Games, which start on July 23.

Roger Federer of Switzerland, a 20-time major winner who also turns 40 in August, said he would like to go to the Olympics but will make a final call after Wimbledon.