Tokyo 2020 Athletes' Village to have "health base" for COVID-19 infections

 Tokyo 2020 Athletes' Village to have "health base" for COVID-19 infections

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A "health base" is set to be established at the Tokyo 2020 Athletes' Village ©Getty Images

A "health base" is set to be established at the Athletes' Village for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in case of potential COVID-19 infection.

A coronavirus countermeasures taskforce, formed of officials from the Japanese Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo 2020, decided to implement a health base following their fourth meeting.

The base, separate from the general clinic in the Village, will be responsible for monitoring athletes' health, selecting medical institutions to hospitalise those who contract the virus and organising transportation for patients, as reported by Kyodo News.

The panel also agreed to set up an "infectious disease control centre" in the Tokyo 2020 main operation centre.

Outfitted with doctors, this will centralise control over COVID-19 countermeasures.

It will work together with the health base and general clinic in the Athletes' Village to keep on top of the health condition of athletes and detect infection at an early stage, while also gathering and sharing information on coronavirus.

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Organisers are preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games with the backdrop of a global pandemic ©Getty Images

The coronavirus countermeasures taskforce was established following the postponement of Tokyo 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

It is expected to announce policies for the Games by the end of the year, with other measures set to include a mechanism for lifting the entry ban on foreign tourists, which is currently in place for 159 countries and regions, a health-checking app, mandatory testing, health insurance and exclusive health centres for tourists.

Despite the difficulties thrown up by the global health crisis, officials have remained confident Tokyo 2020 will take place next year.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach recently said he does not expect any country to "opt out" of the Games due to the pandemic, while Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reiterated his commitment to hosting the Olympics and Paralympics earlier this week. 

The Olympics have been rescheduled to July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5. 

By Nancy Gillen

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