South African Football Team Confirms COVID-19 Infections at Olympics 2020
The South African Football Association (SAFB) confirmed on July 18, 2021, three members from Team SA’s men’s under-23 football team and one coach have produced positive tests for COVID-19 and are in isolation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics isolation facility.
The rest of the team has already tested negative twice and is following all the recommendations of the local health authorities closely.
Team SA officials and management have followed all relevant Olympic 2020 rules, protocols, and procedures throughout the pre-Games and Games arrival routines.
The SAFA members had been tested on arrival, daily at the Olympic Village. They complied with all the mandatory measures implemented to ensure the safety of the Games participants and the people of Japan, including keeping physical distance and wearing masks at all times.
“Every member of Team South Africa required full medical clearance as an eligibility criterion. In addition, they were encouraged to isolate for two weeks pre-departure, monitor health daily, report any symptoms, and produce two negative nasopharyngeal PCR tests taken within 96 hours of departure, as per Tokyo 2020 requirements,” explained Team SA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phatho Zondi, in a press statement.
“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."
"They are now in isolation where they will continue to be monitored and will not be allowed to train or have any physical contact with the rest of the squad,” Dr. Zondi added.
Note: BBC Sports reported on July 19, 2021, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases related to the Olympics has reached 62.