Two members of the Cyprus Olympic delegation in Tokyo have tested positive for COVID-19, said the head of the mission Andreas Thoefylaktou on Monday.
Confirming the cases to state radio CyBC, Theofylaktou said the cases were initially kept quiet to not cause alarm among the rest of the team who needed to concentrate on their performances.
According to Theofylaktou, the two cases concern cyclist Antri Christoforou and the person who accompanied her to Tokyo.
Christoforou completed her participation at the Games on Sunday and was to return to Cyprus on Tuesday.
She did not finish in the women’s Road Race on Sunday.
Theofylaktou reassured the two cases are doing well, while they had both being vaccinated before leaving Cyprus.
Their return home has been postponed as they will need to quarantine before boarding a plane.
“They will be transferred to a hotel in Tokyo. They were expected to leave for Cyprus tomorrow but will stay another 10 days of quarantine at the hotel. We are in constant communication with them.”
Theofylaktou doubted the trustworthiness of the COVID tests carried out in Tokyo, adding the duo will be undergoing another test later on Monday.
Tokyo’s Olympics have been marked by a number of COVID-19 cases, despite tight measures.
So far, 148 people connected to Tokyo from all nations have tested positive for Covid-19.
Theofylaktou said the positive cases did not stay in the Olympic Village during the Games, except for the one night only, noting they stayed in another area, away from the jurisdiction of the Cypriot mission.
“We are looking into the matter, taking it very seriously, but what is important at the moment is that our athletes are well”.
Asked why the delegation took their time announcing the cases, Theofylaktou said the team leading the delegation had to decide to safeguard the rest of the athletes, keeping them focussed.
The Cyprus shooters were competing on Monday.
“As a mission leader, I wanted to safeguard them so that I would not create any additional stress for them”.
He had spoken to the head coaches, adding that the cyclist’s coach has tested negative but will undergo another two tests while self-isolating in the Olympic village.
Theofylaktou told CyBC: “Going to Tokyo, we knew we would have a very difficult task to manage any cases and keep the athletes focused.
“Our goal is for everyone to return healthy, and the second goal, of course, is to win medals for Cyprus.”
It is the eleventh time Cyprus participates in the modern Olympics.
The 15-athlete strong team was led by track athlete Milan Trajkovic and Olympic skeet shooter Antri Eleftheriou.
The team comprises; Marios Georgiou (Gymnastics), Andreas Kariolou, Pavlos Kontides, Marilena Makri, Natasa Lappa in Sailing, Kalia Antoniou, Nicholas Antoniou (Swimming), Andri Christoforou (Road Cycling), Demetris Constantinou, Andri Eleftheriou, Andreas Makris (Shooting), Eleni Artymata, Apostolos Parellis and Milan Trajkovic (Athletics).
Cyprus debuted in the 32nd Olympic Games at Tokyo on Saturday, with gymnast Marios Georgiou competing in the Men’s Artistic individual All-around.