Olympic Torch Staffers Test Positive for COVID-19

Six people working for Japan’s Olympic Torch relay have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of infected Olympic Torch employees to eight, according to organizers of the event.

The six people, who included a man in his 20s and a man in his 30s, helped with the relay in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima on April 27, Tokyo 2020 said in a statement released Saturday. 

All of the staffers assisted with traffic control and wore masks, with three of them working in the city of Amami and the other three working in the city of Kirishima, organizers said. 

Earlier last month, another two people who helped with the torch relay on the island of Shikoku tested positive for COVID-19, including a police officer who helped guide traffic in Kagawa. 

The Tokyo 2020 organizers have urged people to comply with COVID-19 guidelines. 

Opinion surveys conducted in Japan show that many of the local population are heavily opposed to the Olympics, fearing the spread of COVID-19.

Last month, Japan declared a state of emergency for the major population centers of Tokyo and Osaka as well as two other areas, which is set to last until May 11, in order to contain a fourth wave of infection. 

The Olympic Games, after being delayed for a year due to the pandemic, are scheduled to begin July 23. 

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