We have yet another stable going kyujo because of a positive corona virus test. This time none other than Musashigawa, the former stable of Tachiai favorite Wakaichiro. Their withdrawal puts 16 more rikishi on the sideline, and raises the question of how many more stables already are incubating cases of corona virus and will have to withdraw from competition. In fact, the kyujo was not announced until later in the day, and several of the Musashigawa rikishi had already fought their matches.
Following his match today, Oshoma, the newcomer to Juryo, from Naruto beya, had a PCR test. The result came back positive.
Naruto beya, including Naruto oyakata, who is one of the shimpan, will go kyujo.
This follows Mitakeumi’s positive result yesterday, and it will be no surprise if more cases turn up in the following days.
Oshoma’s current standing is 5-3, and it will be a shame if he is kept in the same rank because of the kyujo. This makes the situation more challenging for the banzuke committee after the basho. If they don’t upgrade his position, it’s unfair to Oshoma. If they do, then by rights they should demote Mitakeumi.
But first and foremost, we wish the young man a quick and full recovery.
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
On February 8th, the NSK held a mass PCR test for all its workforce, including rikishi, oyakata and support staff, excluding those who already tested positive following the hana-zumo events at the end of January.
The results came in today, with an unprecedented number of people infected.
- Shimanoumi, Shiden, Churanoumi (Kise)
- Chiyonokuni (Kokonoe)
- Takarafuji (Isegahama)
- Shodai (Tokitsukaze)
- Kiribayama (Michinoku)
- Akua, Meisei (Tatsunami)
Total – 9 sekitori in this round of tests.
- Michinoku, Urakaze (Michinoku)
- Kabutoyama (Isenoumi)
- Onogawa, Katsunoura (Isenoumi)
- Ajigawa, Tateyama (Isegahama)
Total – 11 oyakata in this round of tests
The NSK did not give the names of rikishi in lower divisions who were infected. But they did inform us that in total, including the previous tests, the number of members infected since the end of Hatsu basho is 252.
Yes, that’s two hundred and fifty two.
The press informs us that none of those who tested positive is showing severe symptoms. We hope it stays this way, and that all of them recover quickly and fully.