Two more members of the Czech Olympic team have tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total to six, and the country’s Olympic Committee has launched an investigation into a charter flight bringing athletes to Tokyo.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis called the situation “a scandal” as beach volleyball player Marketa Nausch Slukova and road cyclist Michal Schlegel tested positive in the Olympic Village.
They took the tally of Covid-hit athletes in the Czech team to four, while two other staff also tested positive.
“I don’t like this one bit. I don’t understand how it could happen,” Babis told reporters.
Nausch Slukova’s Austrian coach and husband Simon Nausch tested positive earlier this week along with another beach volleyball player, Ondrej Perusic, and table tennis hope Pavel Sirucek.
Czech Olympic team doctor Vlastimil Voracek tested positive on arrival in Tokyo.
Men’s table tennis player Pavel Sirucek and men’s beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic have also tested positive.
All those infected were on a charter plane that took part of the Czech team to Tokyo last Friday, together with the first identified case, doctor Voracek said.
Voracek was not vaccinated against COVID-19, Czech media reported, although that was not a condition of participation. A spokesman for the Czech Olympic Committee said he could not confirm this as he did not have the doctor’s consent.
The Czech Olympic Committee has launched an investigation into the virus spread on the flight, which took 14 athletes to Tokyo.
“The investigation will focus on whether all safety measures against COVID-19 spread were upheld before, during, and after the flight and whether some individuals have neglected their duties,” the Committee said.
The team said other people on the flight have been tested again by PCR tests which were all negative.
As of Thursday, over 100 Olympic-related personnel, including athletes, have tested positive for COVID-19, with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for Friday.