Justin Bullock, FISM News
The Olympic Village, the area that houses the athletes and staff participating in the Olympics, has recorded its first case of COVID-19 on Saturday. This comes only six days prior to opening ceremonies when the games begin. The Japanese government has not released who contracted the disease, but indicated that it was a foreign national and not an athlete.
The Olympics have received intense scrutiny and become the subject of controversy with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan only recently re-instated their state of emergency regarding the pandemic and also banned all spectators from attending the Olympics. The Olympic Committee and Japan has repeatedly reassured the world that the Olympics will be conducted safely and that a fresh outbreak of the virus will not occur in the Olympic Village or nearby, but many people around the world, including Japanese residents themselves, are expressing concerns and disbelief.
This has caused added worry given the recent emergence of the Delta strain of COVID-19 which has caused infection rates to rise across the world within the past month. This strain seems to be more powerful than the base virus. In addition, it has shown to be more resistant to the Pfizer vaccine in particular. For this reason concerns will continue to rise, particularly with regards to the possible outbreak within the crowded Olympic Village. If an outbreak does occur then it is suspected that the Olympic Committee may suspend or even cancel the Olympics again this year.