IOA requests govt to allow contingent to return without COVID-19 RT PCR test report

Tokyo: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra has requested the government to allow entry of the athletes and officials returning from Tokyo Olympics into the country without producing RT PCR negative test reports for COVID-19 as they have been under strict testing regime at the Games Village.

In a letter addressed to Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal, Batra said since the Olympic contingent members have been fully vaccinated and undergone tests on a regular basis in Tokyo, they be exempted from the requirement of showing RT PCR negative test reports while returning to the country.

"Government of India has put people travelling into India to enter India with a valid RT PCR test to be done before arriving into India and it applies on people arriving from Japan into India," Batra said in the letter.

"Our humble request… is to allow the athletes, officials, IOA delegates, NSF officials/delegates and the media, who are coming back from Tokyo and have an accreditation card based on which Japan allowed them entry into Japan, be allowed to enter back in India without RT PCR test and report."

According to Tokyo Olympics COVID-19 protocols, athletes will undergo antigen tests everyday and those who return positive or have values close to infection will have their RT PCR tests done. Also, athletes have to leave Tokyo within 48 hours of their events getting over.

India's entire contingent was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before its departure for Tokyo Olympics and Batra said it should be taken into consideration.

"You are very well aware that all athletes, all officials (IOA and NSF) are: 1. Double Vaccinated, 2. Took 2 RT PCR tests before departure to Tokyo, 3. Every member of the contingent, delegate from IOA & NSFs are being tested in Tokyo everyday for Covid with Sylvia test till each individual's departure back to India," he said.

"To get RTPCR test done in Tokyo or outside Tokyo where contingent is based is a very difficult task. Here paper work is perfect but in practice there is lot of confusion and very difficult to get things."

Batra requested the government to write to Japanese counterparts to allow the Indian contingent to board the flight from Tokyo without any COVID-19 test.

"Our request is that a letter goes from Government of India to government of Japan that all athletes and others … be permitted to board flights from Japan to India without a COVID test and in India also be permitted to go through without waiting for the test."

The weightlifting contingent will depart for India from Tokyo on Monday after Mirabai Chanu won a historic silver in women's 49kg event.

Batra informed that the airlines that will be coming to India from Japan are Air India, Vistara, All Nippon Airlines and Japan Airlines.

"Information is also requested to be made aware to all the four Airlines to allow all …to board the flight, without RTPCR test & report."

India fielded its largest ever contingent of 127 athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, which also includes the highest female representation of 56.


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