TOKYO: A coronavirus outbreak at a sumo stable in Tokyo has infected 19 people, the governing body said Thursday, adding that a tournament will go ahead this week as planned.
The Japan Sumo Association said one wrestler and 18 trainees at the Tamanoi stable have tested positive for the virus, with 12 of those infected sent to hospital.
The cases follow the death in May of a 28-year-old sumo after contracting coronavirus, the sport’s first Covid-19 fatality.
They were discovered after a trainee became sick last week and tested positive, prompting the stable to test everyone who had been in contact with him, the association said.
Of the confirmed cases, 12 have been hospitalised with minor symptoms, while seven others with no symptoms are being isolated at the stable.
The entire stable will be barred from the September basho, which starts on Sunday in Tokyo.
Sumo canceled its May basho over the coronavirus but from the July tournament, it allowed limited numbers of fans inside a Tokyo arena.
The cluster came to light as Japan eases restrictions with signs that its second wave of coronavirus infections may be over.
Tokyo is expected to lower its warning level as early as Friday, and there has been discussion about loosening restrictions on attendance at sports events.
Other professional sports including baseball and football have also allowed limited numbers of spectators at stadiums.