Tokyo — The COVID-19 menace is looming giant over the, the place the competitors kicked off on Wednesday even earlier than the opening ceremony Friday. The U.S. girls’s soccer workforce had a disappointing begin of their quest for Olympic gold, of their first recreation.
The U.S. girls’s softball workforce got here via with a win, nonetheless, beating Italy of their first matchup.
But simply two days earlier than the Games are set to formally open, the coronavirus was nonetheless stealing a lot of the consideration.
CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas needed to getin Los Angeles earlier than she even set off on the 5,500-mile journey to cover the Games. She is required to remain at her resort for the first 14 days, solely permitted to go to work areas, pre-approved Olympic venues, and the convenience-store round the nook.
And these protocols are simply as strict for Olympic athletes and their groups. While no one is required to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, the security guidelines are strict and contain rigorous testing for anybody linked to the Games. Any athlete who has are available in shut contact with somebody testing constructive should take a look at each day and quarantine in a single dorm room, together with for his or her meals.
With the opening ceremony solely two days away, uncertainty surrounding what was initially deliberate as the 2020 Summer Games continued on Wednesday.
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto mentioned officers would proceed to observe the state of affairs as it unfolds. Unlike the International Olympic Committee chief, nonetheless, Muto would not explicitly rule out pulling the plug on the Games, even at this late hour.
“Whatever he intended to say, and I suspect they are not really discussing the possibility of cancellation concretely, he ended up telling the whole world that the Olympics may get cancelled,” Japanese political scientist Koichi Nakano, of Tokyo’s Sophia University. “The fact that no one rushed so far to ‘correct’ the misunderstanding, it must mean that no one feels optimistic enough to guarantee that the Games will proceed to the end. I think the fact that Toyota, Keidanren, and a host of other sponsors, corporate bigwigs, decided to pull out of the opening ceremony must be shocking to the [Prime Minister Yoshihide] Suga government, as well as to the Organizing Committee. In that sense, I think Muto ended up implying that cancellation is a possibility.”
But USA Today sports activities columnist Nancy Armour mentioned that was merely “not going to happen.”
“That train left the station a long, long time ago,” she advised Yuccas. “These Games are happening.”
But the variety of constructive circumstances continues to rise — not simply in reference to the Olympics, however throughout the Japanese capital. New each day infections in Tokyo surged to a six-month excessive on Wednesday, with the metropolis logging 1,832 new circumstances. The complete capital area remained beneath its fourth state of emergency as a consequence of the pandemic, and all followers have been banned from Olympic venues in the Tokyo space.
“What we have worried about is now actually happening,” Toshio Nakagawa, president of Japan’s nationwide medical affiliation, advised reporters this week. “The surge in cases has been expected whether we have the Olympics or not, and we are afraid that there will be an explosive increase in cases regardless of the Olympics.”
Already greater than 70 folks linked to the Olympics, together with athletes and workers, have examined constructive for the coronavirus.
NBA star Bradley Beal by no means even made it to Japan. He’s been compelled to overlook the Olympics after attainable publicity to the virus in the U.S. Fellow USA Basketball star Katie Lou Samuelson examined constructive earlier than leaving the U.S., and tennis starand gymnast Kara Eaker have additionally returned constructive checks. Eaker made it as far as the Japanese coaching floor with USA Gymnastics earlier than .
“Now every morning I’m checking social media to see if the women have posted photos of them at training,” USA Today’s Armour advised Yuccas. “I’m checking with USA Gymnastics and the US OBC to see how did everybody test negative again today… there is no magic shield around you just because you were vaccinated.”
Despite the well being and security issues, the head of the World Health Organization known as the video games a “celebration of hope” on Wednesday.