The requirements for covid 19 testing has been reduced for athletes, in a recent release by the Tokyo Organising Committee The Indian contingent going to the Tokyo Olympics will be required to submit Covid 19 negative RT-PCR tests only 96 and 72 hours before their departure according to the Tokyo Organising Committee. These two tests must be obtained from an accredited diagnostic centre, and must be uploaded in a format that is approved by the Tokyo OC. These labs have already been recommended as they have a connection with the embassy and consular offices of the Embassy of Japan in India.
The delegation’s deputy chief-de-commission Prem Verma, told the Times of India on Thursday, that for the rest of the days, the athletes do not need to upload the tests for the rest of the days on the OC health monitoring app. The athletes do not need to submit a test even 48 hours before departure, but are told to keep the records for safety.
The Uploading of Data has been Reduced to 7 days Instead of 14 days in the Refreshed Guidelines
At first it was compulsory to upload daily health data for 14 days prior to departure. But now the uploading period has been reduced to 7 days.
“The Covid test report obtained 96 and 72 hours prior to departure has to mandatorily uploaded on the health reporting app. Once an athlete uploads, it will automatically reach the immigration office and a QR code will be generated on the athletes’ smartphone. That QR code will be checked at the immigration when athletes report at the airport.”
After clearing immigration, there will be another set of questions that will have to be answered. Following that, another QR code will be generated. The athletes need to show the QR code to customs, and if everything is cleared they will move forward.
More Private Labs to be Approved for Testing of the Athletes
A total of 13 labs have been identified, apart from the ones recommended by the OC, for Covid 19 testing.
Dr. Verma said on Thursday, “I have written an email to the OC yesterday, where I have demanded approval for two more labs in Patiala, Sonepat, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata and one each in Guwahati, Lucknow, Nagpur and Chennai. All these labs are accredited with the National Health Authority and are government recognised.”
For athletes not carrying smartphones, there are separate provisions made. In such the athletes will monitor their health for seven days and fill up the spreadsheet with their Covid 19 testing details. They will inform the Covid liaison officer of their concerned federations who will upload the spreadsheet on their web portal of the Tokyo Olympics.
“The officials in the SAI and the IOA have discussed and requested the concerned testing labs to collect swab samples of athletes for Covid testing from places where they are staying or undergoing training. This agreement has already been reached with most of the labs. This way we can ensure the safety of our athletes without breaking the bio-bubble or putting them at unnecessary risk of exposure,” said Verma.
With the Tokyo Olympics all set to begin in just 30 days, the pressure on the Tokyo Organising committee to hold a safe and secure Olympics is high, with the medical system already being strained due to the Covid 19 pandemic.