Sport AOC supports more Tokyo coronavirus tests

06:40  29 april  2021
06:40  29 april  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Australian Olympic boss John Coates has moved to reassure athletes and spectators they will be safe to attend the Tokyo Games amid the coronavirus outbreak in neighbouring China. Travelling to Tokyo last week for a review meeting, the former International Olympic Committee vice-president was “That’s a reassurance to the international sports federations running events in the lead up to the Games [who] will be informing the athletes there’s no problem that the Chinese are in the lane next to you.” The coronavirus situation resembles the 2016 Rio Olympics when the IOC relied on WHO guidance

“They’ve been able to provide tests to any single person that wants it, and here people are scrambling. It almost seems like the more wealthy and powerful you are, the more able you are to access a test . But the rougher road you’ve got here, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to access health care. But the virus began spreading in South Korea months ago. In the latter stages of the spread, doctors there were testing more than 10,000 people daily and the country has tested more than 235,000 people, the New York Times reported. So far, 1629 people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus

Australia's Olympic hierarchy welcomes stricter coronavirus testing at the Tokyo Games while hoping spectators will attend the sporting showpiece.

a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Australia's Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman is happy with the extra testing protocols in Tokyo. © Luis Ascui/AAP PHOTOS Australia's Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman is happy with the extra testing protocols in Tokyo.

Australia's Olympic team chef de mission Ian Chesterman says heightened testing protocols announced by Games organisers overnight will give athletes greater confidence about their safety.

All athletes and support staff must be cleared of coronavirus by two tests within 96 hours of departing for Tokyo.

And athletes and their close contacts will then be tested daily while in Tokyo for the Games to start on July 23.

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo 's first drive-through coronavirus test centre was launched this week, as Japan ramps up efforts to prevent its medical system crumbling under the growing weight of new infections. The city Yokosuka, south of the capital, is starting walk-through testing on Friday - the first of its kind in Japan "Drive-through tests can be done more easily. But you need to wear full protective equipment, and working in it for just an hour saps your physical strength," Hikari Takamiya, deputy head of the Yokosuka Medical Association, told reporters on Thursday. "As virus clings to the surface (of

"We certainly welcome the additional testing," Chesterman told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.

"We will now have two lots of testing in the last 96 hours before we arrive in Japan, we will be tested on arrival in Japan, and will be tested many times throughout our period of stay.

"It's important we have that extra level of testing.

"That gives our athletes confidence that when we get into the Olympic village, which becomes our bubble, there will be a safe environment."

The new measures were announced by Games organisers who have delayed a decision on spectators until June.

International spectators have been banned but Chesterman hoped Japanese crowds would be permitted.

"I would still be hopeful, and I know everyone wants there to be some fans in the crowds," he said.

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Each day seems to bring more bad news for Tokyo . The daily coronavirus infection count has more than doubled in the Japanese capital in one week.

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"We know there won't be any international fans and there hopefully are Japanese fans.

"But this is a Games in which the athletes say 'just give us our moment on the Olympic field of play'.

"Is it going to be the Games that we all wanted to have with big crowds? Maybe not."

Australia will decide in June whether to enforce its own protocols on top of those detailed by Tokyo's organising committee in so-called playbooks.

Parts of Japan, including Tokyo, were put under a new state of emergency at the weekend, and most Japanese public think the Games, postponed from 2020 because of the pandemic, should be cancelled or delayed again.

But Chesterman said ensuring athletes got "their time in the sun" was paramount to the AOC.

"It is a very different environment to what might happen at a normal Games," he said.

"... These are a Games for these times, they're difficult times.

"But our athletes want their moment on their field of play and we want to create that opportunity for them.

"We really hope that while the athletes may miss out on some of their normal experiences, they still get their moment in the sun which they have worked so hard for for four years, five years and in many cases a lifetime."

Australia's entire Olympic team and staffers, expected to be around 1200, will start getting coronavirus vaccinations from next week.

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