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Ugandan Olympic athlete tests positive for COVID-19 in Japan, isolated

The Ugandan Olympic team while being flagged off in Kampala

The Ugandan Olympic team while being flagged off in Kampala

One member of the first batch of Uganda's athletes' team has tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Japan for a one-month camp training.

The team of nine people including three boxers, one weight lifter, and one swimmer plus coaches and officials was flagged off on Thursday by Sports minister designate Hamson Obua for their one-month spell in Japan ahead of the Olympic games in July.

However, after arrival in Japan on Saturday, one of the members tested positive for coronavirus disease and is currently being kept in Japan’s designated isolation facility while the other members of the Ugandan team traveled to Osaka, western Japan, where they will train ahead of the games.

Hidemasa Nakamura, the Tokyo 2020 Games delivery officer, while talking to reporters also made it clear that the person had been isolated. 

“I heard the person has been isolated based on regulations,” said Nakamura.

While flagging off the athletes, Beatrice Ayikoru, the chief of mission for Tokyo made it clear that all athletes had been vaccinated and tested twice before leaving. She also said they have been in isolation for two weeks. 

The team wanted to start gearing up for the games at their training camp, however, this means that their preparations suffered a setback. This comes at a time when the NCS Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel had told sports federations to appreciate the realities of the times and adhere to the standard operating procedures, that the national team players should be secluded from the public to prevent them from getting the virus.

This is the fourth similar COVID-19 incident to happen for a Ugandan contingent, and three Uganda national teams have been withdrawn from international competitions accordingly after members of these members tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the kick-off of the competitions.

These include the National Basketball team, Women Cricket and lately the Uganda Rugby Sevens team that was withdrawn from Olympic qualifiers in France. 

The second batch of Uganda Olympians is scheduled to travel on the 29th and 30th of this month. According to Ayikoru the team will comprise of the middle distance runners from the athletics discipline.  

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