Nat’l athletes allowed to resume training for Tokyo Olympics

National athletes are now allowed to resume training for the Tokyo Olympics in a “bubble-type” setting amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Malacañang announced Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the recommendation of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to allow national athletes to resume training under IATF Resolution No. 88.

“The request of the Philippine Olympic Committee to resume the training of national athletes vying for the Tokyo Olympics in a ‘bubble-type’ setting is approved,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

The “bubble-type” setting is patterned after the National Basketball Association (NBA) model, wherein all players from every team including staff, officials, and other people involved will have no physical contact with other people outside of it, including their families.

Earlier, the PSC released safety rules and protocols to be followed inside the bubble.

Among others, testing as an adjunct to preventive measure, should be implemented at all times in a sporting environment.

For close contacts of positive cases, quarantine and monitor daily temperature and symptom, and consider test out of quarantine every day.

Prior to the athletic gathering, two swab tests six days before the event should be performed.

Asymptomatic athletes should consider an immediate retest and immediate repeat testing of the initial sample.

If the athlete has symptoms, the test should be positive. If symptoms are present and the test is negative, repeat the test within 24 to 48 hours. If negative, consider alternative diagnosis.

Unusual test results should be discussed with the expert group. The test should be repeated as soon as possible within 24 to 48 hours.

For post Covid-19 infection, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test should be maintained as positive for months, repeat testing is not recommended within 90 days after infection. Antibody testing should be considered two to three weeks after the initial infection.

Should there be a positive case in the sporting bubble, the case should be isolated as well as the close contacts. The cases should also be discussed with local public health officials. They should also consider RT-PCR testing for asymptomatic contacts. All close contacts should be considered to be tested.

Gymnast Carlos Yulo, pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno have already earned slots to play in the Tokyo Olympics.

The Japanese government has earlier committed to hold the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games next year.


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