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Two South African footballers and a video analyst have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Tokyo Olympic Village, officials said on Sunday, raising fears of a cluster just days before the opening ceremony.
The cases further darkened a gloomy atmosphere around the 2020 Games, which will finally open after a year's delay on Friday but remain widely opposed by the Japanese public.
Players Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi and analyst Mario Masha are in isolation after testing positive, Team South Africa said, adding that the whole delegation had been following anti-coronavirus rules.
"They have been tested on arrival, daily at the Olympic Village and complied with all the mandatory measures," a statement said.
South Africa's rugby sevens coach Neil Powell also tested positive and is in isolation in the Japanese town where the squad are training.
"The timing of the positive results suggests that the PCR test in these individuals was done during the incubation period of the infection, which is how they could be negative in South Africa and then positive in Japan," said chief medical officer Phatho Zondi.
Organisers earlier said two athletes and a member of their support staff had become the first cases in the Olympic Village, without identifying those involved.
Fifty-five cases linked to the Games have been discovered this month, including four athletes. joker gaming
Competitors are flying in from around the world for the pandemic-delayed Olympics, which are facing a backlash in Japan due to the risk of fresh Covid outbreaks.
The Olympic Village, a complex of apartments and dining areas in Tokyo, will house 6,700 athletes and officials at its peak when the Games get underway.
The Tokyo Games will be held largely behind closed doors to prevent infections. The Japanese capital remains under a coronavirus state of emergency and has been battling a sharp uptick in cases.
Olympic officials have been at pains to play down the health risks of the Games, which are taking place in stringent anti-coronavirus conditions with athletes tested daily.