Those who watched the live broadcast today will already know that Mitakeumi was kyujo, because a rikishi from Dewanoumi beya was found positive for COVID.
However, in the afternoon, the NSK announced that Mitakeumi himself had a PCR test, and was found positive. This may have severe implications for the basho.
Ichinojo, who fought the kadoban Ozeki on day 6, underwent a test, and was found negative. However, the virus does take time to multiply to detectable levels, so a test only after one day from exposure is not reliable.
Dewanoumi oyakata himself will not go kyujo, as he is staying in a separate facility than the rikishi for the duration of Nagoya basho, so is not considered exposed.
This is the first time a COVID-19 case is discovered during honbasho. It’s not clear how the NSK is going to handle the situation. So far there has been no announcement of further measures or tests outside Dewanoumi beya. We’ll keep our readers up to date if such information turns up.
As for Mitakeumi’s status on the next banzuke, Isegahama oyakata, who is the head of the Shimpan department, which decides this, says that they will discuss it and make the decision after the basho, during the usual banzuke deliberations. So far any COVID kyujo resulted in a preservation of rank (or a slight demotion), but a mid-way kyujo is, as I said, unprecedented, and the kadoban situation is also unique.
We wish Mitakeumi and his heya mates a speedy, symptom-free recovery, and hope no further cases turn