New Japan Pro Wrestling is currently fighting a COVID-19 outbreak within its ranks. Last week’s NJPW Wrestling Dontaku event saw changes after two unnamed wrestlers, at the time the wrestlers were presumed to be Kazuchika Okada and Minoru Suzuki, were removed from the card. NJPW chairman Naoki Sugabayashi apologized for the alteration to the card and the Fukuoka event went on with some changes.
Since the event seven more NJPW talent have been afflicted with the virus. NJPW released the following statement:
As a result of PCR testing conducted across the roster following the May 4 Wrestling Dontaku event in Fukuoka, New Japan Pro-Wrestling has learned of seven positive tests for COVID-19.
As previously reported, two wrestlers who presented a fever on the day of the May 4 event were immediately tested in accordance with COVID protocols, with the tests returning positive.
In light of this news, all of those who had close contact with the infected parties, in addition to every wrestler on the roster, received PCR tests, with a further seven wrestlers testing positive.
All those who tested positive are experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. According to protocols and under medical advice, all are isolating and receiving appropriate treatment.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling has a strictly implemented COVID-19 policy drawn up under expert advice and guidance. This includes daily temperature and blood oxygen saturation checks, as well as regular PCR testing. All attendees are temperature screened on entry to venues, masks are required during training and backstage, and packaged food is provided in order to limit unnecessary movement outside. However, we take these developments extremely seriously, and are working to further strengthen our COVID-19 countermeasures in the future.
NJPW deeply apologizes for the concern caused to fans and personnel and asks for your understanding.New Japan Pro-Wrestling Press Release regarding COVID-19 outbreak on the roster
Japan is currently in a state of emergency due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the nation just recently had cases top 7,000 for the first time since January. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga just recently extended the state of emergency in Tokyo ahead of the Olympics.
NJPW has postponed their May 15 and May 29 Wrestle Grand Slam shows in Tokyo and Yokohama in response to the order.