As announced by the NSK, Hakuho reported symptoms related to his sinuses and took a PCR test. With the positive result, and close contacts within his stable, the rest of Miyagino-beya will be PCR tested. This undoubtedly will mean Hakuho and possibly others from his stable will be kyujo from the tournament which starts this weekend. Shibatayama-oyakata has gone on record that there are currently no plans to cancel the event or to hold the tournament without spectators.
Tachiai wishes the Yokozuna a quick and full recovery and hopes that the infection does not spread further, though there seems to be a quicker pace of these announcements. According to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 dashboard, the country is within its third, and worst, wave of infections. Japan’s Prime Minister Suga is considering an Emergency declaration and has stated that the country will not begin vaccinations until February. Internationally, the UK has announced a lockdown as a “UK variant,” which spreads easier than previous strains, has led to international travel restrictions as the new variant has popped up in other countries, including Japan. Japan closed its borders to all foreigners in response.
We will continue to report on the situation as it develops.