Japan’s travel restrictions won’t affect Indian athletes: Narinder Batra | Tokyo Olympics News

NEW DELHI: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Dhruv Batra assured on Friday that the current flight ban imposed by the Japanese government on people traveling from India will not affect Indian athletes and officials bound for Tokyo. All protocols as defined by the Games Organizing Committee (OC) will be strictly adhered to by the IOA, he said.
Japan on Thursday banned the entry of foreign residents from 153 countries, including India, following the spread of Covid-19 after several variants of the virus emerged. The ban has raised questions about whether the country’s athletes and officials could face entry issues Tokyo for the Olympics.
“A travel ban is a separate thing and going to the Olympics is different. The ban does not affect athletes accredited to Tokyo and the officials accompanying them. There are enough safeguards and counter-guarantees between the hosts (read OC) and the International Olympic (IOC),” Batra told TOI.
“You cannot prevent accredited athletes from any participating country from participating in the Olympics. We (the IOA) are following all protocols like vaccinating our athletes and coaches, sending the contingent after getting a report negative RT-PCR 24 hours before their departure”.
“The IOA is preparing a long list of athletes and officials. This long list is prepared considering those who have qualified and the rest who have the potential to qualify. So by the end of June, we We’ll have the final list with us. So far, around 203 athletes have been vaccinated, including around 45-50 para-athletes. Today, 17 of them have even received their second dose of the vaccine. Out of 90 officials, five of them have received their second dose. My advice to our athletes is to keep training for the Games,” he added.
Batra said the IOA has explored all options to create safe passage for contingent members to travel to Tokyo, minimizing the risk of them coming into contact with a stranger. “Logistically, we could consider sending our athletes and officials together on a chartered flight from India. This is one of the many possibilities we are exploring. We want to minimize our athletes’ contact with the other passengers on the flight. We want all of our athletes to reach Tokyo safely. But first, the flight bans must be lifted, so that we can establish a proper schedule. We want to make sure no one gets infected before we get to Tokyo. ‘go to the Olympics,’ he said.

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