18 JULY 2021 – Three members from Team SA’s men’s under-23 football team have produced positive tests for Covid-19 and are in isolation in the Tokyo 2020 isolation facility.
The three members are players Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi and video analyst Mario Masha, who produced a positive result in the latest round of daily sputum (saliva) testing.
The rest of the team has already tested negative twice and is following closely all the recommendations of the local health authorities.
Team SA officials and management have followed all relevant Olympic Playbook rules, protocols and procedures throughout the pre-Games and Games arrival routines.
They have been tested on arrival, daily at the Olympic Village and complied with all the mandatory measures implemented to ensure the safety of the Games participants and the people of Japan, including keeping physical distancing and wearing masks at all times.
A fourth Team SA member, Sevens rugby coach Neil Powell, has also produced a positive result and has been admitted to an isolation facility in Kagashimo where the Sevens squad are currently in at a pre-Games training camp.
“Every member of Team South Africa required full medical clearance as an eligibility criteria. 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.
“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.
SASCOC general team management are following all protocols and processes and pursuing all channels to expedite decision making and ensure the comfort and needs of all affected individuals.