Tokyo Olympics: Perturbed by slow turnaround time of COVID-19 test results, IOA writes to TOCOG
New Delhi [India], June 21 (ANI): Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has sought clarifications on a number of issues following new regulations put in place by the Japanese government pertaining to entry conditions to Japan affecting 11 countries including India.
A number of Indian athletes are training abroad for more than 30 days and will be traveling directly to Tokyo. The countries where they are training are not on the list of the 11 countries that have these new additional conditions.
IOA President Narinder Batra and Secretary-General Rajeev Mehta in a letter addressed to the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (TOCOG) asked if these specific athletes will be required to follow these additional entry conditions or not.
"Can you please kindly confirm that these specific athletes training out of India for over 30 days will not be required to follow these additional entry conditions," read the letter.
As per new rules, Indian athletes have been advised to not physically interact with anyone from another team, delegation, or country for three days on arrival.
IOA said team sports such as hockey, there is a requirement for team meetings, equipment check, and uniform checks, which may happen during the three-day period where they are not permitted to associate with other countries or delegates and sought clarification on how will the contingent proceed on this.
"How will this be managed for India and other 10 countries for each respective sport since attending these meetings are a mandatory requirement in hockey and many other sports in which India athletes are competing," asked IOA in the letter.
As per the TOCOG circulated list of Labs and Testing facilities for Covid-19 PCR tests in India are very few. The 103 CLO has been writing and reminding the concerned in TOCOG for additional testing facilities in India, but they are getting no replies.
IOA said some testing labs are up to 400 km away from places where the athletes are training and the governing body will be sending to TOCOG a separate email with the request from the 103 CLO to the concerned in TOCOG with their request for additional labs at the locations where athletes are training
"We have been further informed by D-Care Medical Centre which is the approved centre in Delhi that they will supply a soft copy via email of the results of the PCR test within 24 hours and a hard copy within 30 hours," read the letter.
"As you can appreciate this slow turnaround time, due to the specific template required, would mean that members of the contingent may not be able to provide or carry a copy of their PCR test results for the period of the 48 hours prior to their arrival in Tokyo.
"Since we certainly do not want a situation where delegate members, including athletes and officials arrive in Tokyo and are denied entry due to not having a copy of the results for the preceding 48 hours. Would you therefore suggest or recommend that delegate members should be tested 9 days prior to departure? So that they have at least have 7 negative test reports with them or restrict the number of reports to 5 which will be possible to obtain for the tests completed in the last 7 days.
"We further request that since it is difficult to receive the PCR test reports for last 48 hrs based on the information provided by the TOCOG approved laboratories and we do not want athletes coming from India to be penalised or stopped at the airport in Tokyo for not carrying PCR test reports for last 48 hours. Clarifications from your side should also clarify this issue as we would not like any inconvenience for our athletes, officials, delegates, NOC President & Secretary General, IOC Members, Press and others who may be allowed entry from Government of Japan coming from India and do not PCR test reports with them for the last 48 hours," IOA concluded. (ANI)