Two athletes from Tokyo Olympic Village tested positive for Covid-19

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Three cases have now been confirmed in the village. The first case was reported on Saturday after an individual, believed to be an athlete, tested positive.

Outside the Olympic Village, a third athlete tested positive on Sunday, organizers said. The names and nationalities of the positive cases were not known.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics begin on Friday – but concern grows over the danger of the spread of Covid, with 55 confirmed cases now linked to the Games, including officials and contractors.

The Japanese public, as well as many international observers, have expressed concern over the future of the Games as Japan struggles to bring its latest coronavirus outbreak under control.

The country experienced a huge second wave in the spring, peaking in April and May with nearly 6,000 new cases per day. Cases started to decline in June but have increased in recent weeks, raising fears that the arrival of teams from more than 200 countries could turn the Games into a major global event.

As of Friday, more than 15,000 Olympic people entered Japan, according to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Olympic Village, made up of 21 residential buildings, will house around 11,000 athletes.

Bach acknowledged the criticisms regarding the organization of the Olympics during the pandemic, but also defended the preventive measures that had been taken.

“We are well aware of the skepticism of a number of people here in Japan,” he said at a press conference on Saturday. “My appeal to the Japanese people is to welcome the athletes to their competitions.”

Organizers announced this month that venues in Tokyo would not have spectators due to the city’s coronavirus state of emergency – an unprecedented move, according to an IOC spokesperson.

The Olympic Village is prepared with Covid testing and health centers, with signs reminding residents to wear face masks and to stand at least one meter (about 3.3 feet) from each other. Athletes will be researched and tested daily for Covid; if they are positive, they will be taken to an isolation center outside the Olympic Village and will not be able to compete.

Other measures in the village include limiting the capacity of indoor facilities, such as mess halls and training centers, where residents are separated by plastic barriers.

Still, some athletes decided not to take the risk and pulled out of the games, including Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios and Australian basketball player Liz Cambage. About 10,000 Olympic volunteers also resigned.

CNN’s Selina Wang contributed to this report.

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