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Missing Accredition Cards and Covid Tests, First Indian Team to Reach Tokyo Olympics Made to Wait Hours

India’s Sailing squad, comprising Vishnu Saravanan, Ganapathy Chengappa, Varun Thakkar and Nethra Kumanan (Twitter)

India’s Sailing squad, comprising Vishnu Saravanan, Ganapathy Chengappa, Varun Thakkar and Nethra Kumanan (Twitter)

India’s Sailing squad had to wait a long time on reaching Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, an indication as to what Indian athletes can expect themselves.

The six-member sailing team, comprising four sailors and two coaches, the first Indian team to land in Tokyo Haneda airport for the 2020 Olympics, had to wait hours due to a long bureaucratic process and then the Covid-19 and ‘technology’ check.

The whole process took hours on Tuesday before the Indian team could finally leave for their hotel, as they would not be staying at the Games village but at an accommodation near their event.

According to a report in ‘The Indian Express’, an official said the sailing team was held up due to lengthy immigration procedures and then for Covid test reports.

First, the Indian team were checked by a quarantine officer for two apps — one for health monitoring and the other for contact tracing, as the officer made sure that the phone’s Bluetooth and GPS were functional.

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“Through one of the apps, they also checked our pre-departure Covid reports,” the official told TIE.

“For those without a smartphone, there was a provision at the airport to rent one for the duration of the Games,” the official added.

Then the team had to take a saliva antigen Covid-19 test ad while they waited for the results, had to validate their accreditation cards and submit proof of thier negative pre-departure Covid test.

“It took a couple of hours for the Covid test report, but in our case the delay was longer also because some members of the team did not have their accreditation cards," the official was quoted as saying by TIE.

Owing to flight disruptions, accreditation cards had not reached some of the members of the team in time.

“It is not possible to leave the airport without an accreditation card. That process took a couple of hours more. The rest of the team could have left after they received their Covid-negative reports but they chose to travel together," the official said.

The sailing team’s experience can be an indication of what can be expected on reaching Tokyo for Summer Games with the first batch of Indian athletes due to leave on July 17 for Tokyo via a chartered Air India flight.

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first published:July 15, 2021, 09:36 IST