COVID check: IOC Refugee Team cleared to proceed to Tokyo

(181201) — TOKYO, Dec. 1, 2018 (Xinhua) — International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach attends the press conference after the IOC executive board meeting in Tokyo, Japan, Dec. 1, 2018. (Xinhua/Du Xiaoyi)

Doha, July 18 (IANS) Members of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Refugee Team — who had gathered here for a ‘welcome experience’ and whose departure for the Games was delayed due to a Covid scare — have been cleared to board the flight to Tokyo.

Twenty-six athletes, 16 coaches and 10 officials will be travelling to Japan in the next three days.

“I feel very excited. Finally, we are going to Tokyo!” said badminton player Aram Mahmoud.

“You could think that it is like going to any tournament. But it is not. Despite the situation, I feel ready mentally and physically and want to give my best,” he added on Sunday.

The official who tested had positive in Doha on July 12, and who was immediately isolated by the Qatari public authorities, will stay in Qatar until further notice.

In the past few days, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team had come together for a ‘welcome experience’ in Doha. Twenty-six of the 29 athletes and 11 officials participated in the ‘experience’.

On July 12, on taking a COVID-19 PCR tests before leaving for Tokyo, an official returned a positive test. A follow-up test confirmed the result, while the tests of all other members of the team, including athletes and officials, returned negative.

The official, who was immediately isolated by Qatari Public Authorities, is asymptomatic and doing well. The official was single-vaccinated and followed all COVID-19 protocols prior to departure and during the ‘welcome experience’.

Following the positive test, it was decided that the team would not travel to Tokyo and continue their training in Doha while being tested daily.

The IOC, in cooperation with the Qatar Olympic Committee, is supporting the team.

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