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Daily Covid test uncomfortable but necessary for athletes | Daily Express Online

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Daily Covid test uncomfortable but necessary for athletes

Published on: Friday, April 30, 2021

By: Bernama

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Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike shows the Tokyo 2020 Olympics playbook to reporters on Wednesday

Kuala Lumpur: The new set of measures released by the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organisers Wednesday, which among others requires athletes to take the Covid-19 test daily, will definitely be uncomfortable for participants, said Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria. However, he said it has to be done for the safety of athletes and officials during the world’s biggest sporting event, which will be held amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Games will be held in a bubble concept. It will be a test of character, but I hope our athletes maintain their focus and determination to achieve their dreams. At the moment we are okay with it as long as it protects everyone,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Olympians Association (MOA) president Noraseela Mohd Khalid also applauded the safety protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Honestly, I think it’s a wise decision to update the playbook according to the latest conditions worldwide. Japan and its people are very dedicated and determined to weather the challenges laid upon them.
“I truly believe all the measures and decisions made are for the sake of hosting a safe and effective Olympics and Paralympics,” said Noraseela, who competed as a hurdler in the 2012 London Olympics.
On Wednesday night, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020), Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan issued several additional measures for the Games in the latest Playbook.

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They include requirements for participants to take two Covid-19 tests before their flight to Japan and daily test for athletes and all those in close proximity with them to minimise the risk of undetected positive cases that could transmit the virus.
“All other Games participants will be tested daily for three days after their arrival. After that, throughout their stay, they will be tested regularly, based on the operational nature of their role and level of contact with athletes.
“All Games participants must, in principle, only follow the activities they have outlined in their activity plan. They must minimise contact within one metre of Games participants who have already been in Japan for more than 14 days, and Japanese residents,” they said in a joint statement.
Apart from that, participants are not allowed to use public transport (must use dedicated Games vehicle), while dining is limited to locations where Covid-19 countermeasures are in place, including catering facilities at Games venues, their accommodation’s restaurant and their rooms, using room service or food delivery.

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The hosts also defined close contacts as those who have prolonged contact (for 15 minutes or more) with a person who has a confirmed positive Covid-19 test, within one metre, without wearing a face mask.
“This is particularly applicable when such contact happens in enclosed spaces such as hotel rooms or vehicles. Cases will be confirmed by the Japanese health authorities,” the statement said. 

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