April 23, 2021 at 08:10 JST
An Olympic torch bearer runs in Zentsuji, Kagawa Prefecture, on April 17. (The Asahi Shimbun)
A police officer helping with Japan's Olympic Torch relay has become the first participant in the event to be diagnosed with COVID-19, organizers said on Thursday.
A man in his 30s tested positive for the virus after working on the relay in Kagawa Prefecture on Japan's southern island of Shikoku, Tokyo 2020 organizers said in a statement.
The officer was guiding traffic in the town of Naoshima on Saturday and came down with a fever on Sunday, a local newspaper reported, citing organizers and prefectural police. The man wore a mask and had no contact with runners, the report said.
Separately, two runners, a TV personality and a former Olympian, dropped out of a relay event due to be held in the western prefecture of Tottori next month, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Public support for the Games has waned amid concern the event will exacerbate COVID-19 infections, now battering the country in a fourth wave. Japan's government is expected to declare a state of emergency, the third in the past year, in the major population centers of Tokyo and Osaka this week.
The Games, already delayed by one year, are due to start in 92 days. Olympic and government officials have said further postponement of the Games is out of the question.
Visit this page for the latest news on Japan’s battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Haruki Murakami and other writers read from books before selected audiences at the new Haruki Murakami Library.
The Asahi Shimbun aims “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” through its Gender Equality Declaration.
Let’s explore the Japanese capital from the viewpoint of wheelchair users and people with disabilities with Barry Joshua Grisdale.