Team TTO member tests positive ahead of Olympics

One member of the Team TTO delegation—a member of the medical staff—has tested positive for Covid-19 and has been withdrawn; while sailor Andrew Lewis is the first athlete from this country to land in Tokyo ahead of the July 23-August 8 Tokyo2020 Olympic Games.

In a media conference hosted on Zoom yesterday, to provide updates on Team TTO, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis advised that during the extremely strict and stringent Covid-19 counter-measures and testing protocols, one of the nine-member medical staff had been withdraw and is to be replaced. The person remained unnamed because of advice provided by the TTOC legal adviser Dave Williams and the TTOC’s medical expert Dr Terry Ali.

On Tuesday, Team TTO’s Rheeza Grant, the TTOC’s project officer, athletes services and programmes—appointed to the mandatory post of Covid-19 Liaison Officer (CLO)—accompanied the team’s chief medical officer Dr Rudranath “Rudy” Ramsawak and Dr Nailah Adams en route to Tokyo, acceding to the IOC and Games organisers’ rigorous safety protocol of each providing two negative PCR (ploymerase chain reaction) tests 96 hours and 72 hours prior to their arrival in Tokyo.

The trio led by Grant, a national beach volleyballer, was scheduled to arrive in the “Land of the Rising Sun” today.

Meanwhile, Andrew Lewis along with his team manager Kairon Serrette and physiotherapist Maytas Toth—whose cost to attend the Games are not being underwritten by the TTOC—touched down in Tokyo Tuesday. Sailing along with cycling will be held in satellite venues outside of Tokyo.

After a four-hour and 15-minute delegation registration meeting (DRM) involving Brian Lewis, chef de mission Lovie Santana and TTOC secretary general Annette Knott and the Games organisers early yesterday morning, Lewis (B) advised that the testing protocols which include a 14-day activity log and plan, highlights the rigorousness of the safety and health counter-measures being enforced by the IOC through its Playbook for the Games.

Delegation members from 206 countries will also be obliged to download specific applications that will permit organisers to track and monitor their daily activities.

Some 11,000 athletes and thousands more technical and medical support staff will also be subject to Covid-19 testing once they land in Tokyo.

While vaccination is not mandatory for participation at the Games, the IOC is encouraging inoculation, with IOC president Thomas Bach stating that 85 per cent of the athletes, managers, coaches, medical staff etc, in the Games Village are expected to be fully inoculated.

The TTOC is also encouraging 100 per cent vaccination. The majority of the TTO delegation has already been inoculated, but there are some exceptions that would remain unidentified to protect confidentiality.

Grant and Santana had held two meetings in the last week with managers of the seven disciplines that comprise the TTO delegation, to apprise them of the required stringent health protocols. Lewis said the strict measures are to ensure the safety of the Japanese people during the staging of the Games and also to ensure the safety of T&T citizens upon the delegation’s return to this country.

He admitted that managing the logistics of travel for the delegation from various points of departure, had been “extremely difficult and challenging” but credited Santana and Knott with browsing copious documents and emails to ensure compliance.