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Olympic Village volunteers criticize ‘joke’ virus prevention measures

Volunteers and subcontractors are reportedly working inside the Tokyo Olympic Village and athletic venues despite not having COVID-19 tests, sources a report said.

Volunteers were denied when they requested the tests, and they’re now calling monitoring by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ (TOCOG) a “joke,” The Daily Mail reported, citing sources.

One volunteer – who did not wish to share his name – told the outlet the situation has been “lax beyond belief,” adding, ‘It’s a joke and we are all amazed by it. There has been no monitoring.”

Another said people were in shock.

“It’s the talk of the volunteers,” the person reportedly said.

“Nobody is checking when we go in and my friends who are working at Games venues say the same thing.”

People take pictures with the Olympic rings outside the Olympic Stadium during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Olympic volunteers said have the COVID precautions have not been up to snuff.
Jae C. Hong/AP

The Olympics reported 21 new cases related to the games on Saturday, according to the Associated Press, none of whom were athletes. The anxiety surrounding the virus led to at least one person related to the Games having their accreditation revoked for leaving the village to go sightseeing.


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So far, 241 people related to the Olympics, including 23 athletes, have tested positive since July 1.

COVID-19 cases have been ravaging Tokyo, with over 4,000 COVID-19 cases reported Saturday, according to Reuters, a new record for the city.

Fiji's players wear face masks as they celebrate on the podium with their gold medals in men's rugby sevens at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Fiji’s rugby players wear face masks as they celebrate on the podium with their gold medals at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Shuji Kajiyama/AP

Three attendees have been hospitalized as a result of the virus, but none of the cases was serious, Games spokesperson Masa Takaya told reporters during a daily briefing on Thursday.

Experts say the new cases are largely driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant and there is no evidence that the bug is coming from Olympic participants.

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