Photo/Illutration Spectators cheer as a torch bearer runs through a street in Amami, Kagoshima Prefecture, on April 27. (Satoshi Okumura)

KAGOSHIMA--Amami city officials who controlled traffic at the recent Tokyo Olympic torch relay on Amami-Oshima have tested positive for COVID-19 and become part of the first infection cluster on the remote island.

The Kagoshima prefectural government on April 29 confirmed that four men and five women who went to an eatery that provides entertainment in the city of Amami tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Two of the four are employees, one in his 20s and the other in his 30s, who work at the city hall’s main building, the city government said.

The two helped control traffic for about two hours starting from 11 a.m. on April 27 as the torch relay passed through the city.

They took anti-virus measures and wore a mask, the city said.

The two have developed a fever and a sore throat, but both have mild symptoms, the city said.

Their infections were confirmed on April 28 and 29. Their workspace and communal areas in the city government building were sanitized.

Their daily duties do not involve over-the-counter contact with the public, the city said.

Amami Mayor Tsuyoshi Asayama released a statement apologizing to the residents.

The city of Amami, which has a population of about 42,000 residents, is on Amami-Oshima island, about 380 kilometers south of Kagoshima, the prefectural capital.