Operations running smoothly in Tokyo: India Covid liaison officer

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Indian contingent officials who reached Tokyo on Wednesday allayed concerns over long waiting hours at the Tokyo airport and the stay of athletes at the Olympic Games Village.

The officials had a hassle-free experience and were cleared through immigration in less than two hours.

“That’s a normal standard time to complete formalities. We boarded our transport within two hours of our arrival,” said deputy chef de mission and Covid liaison officer Prem Verma.

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The wait for the Covid test at the airport was not more than 40 minutes. “They asked whether we have monitored our health for 14 days and whether we have uploaded our Covid negative certificate (test done 72 hours before departure) in the OCHA health app. If not, they will help you with the app process. Testing is also a smooth process. There is no need to panic. We had to give our samples and wait for 30-40 minutes.

“There were volunteers to guide us through every step, from testing to navigating through a health app and arranging transport for us. They are very helpful,” he added.

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Besides Verma, chef de mission BP Baishya and contingent doctor Arun Basil also have reached Tokyo. Athletes going from India will have to quarantine for three days because India is among 14 nations listed in the high-risk category as per Covid protocols. There were fears regarding the diet of athletes during their quarantine period.

Verma said on their arrival at the Games Village they were handed keys to the rooms of the entire contingent. He said there will be no issues regarding food as Indian athletes will be allowed to eat in the dining area on a separate floor.

“We have been given three floors in Tower 15. There are 182 rooms of single and double beds. Considering our contingent strength and that athletes and coaches will be checking in and out (after their events), it could be possible that we will be able to provide single rooms for almost everyone.

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“As per food, we can dine on a separate floor in the dining area marked for us. We cannot eat in our rooms. The village is beautiful,” he added.

“We were very happy with the facilities and helpful staff. Indian athletes need not fear at all, everything is being taken care of.”

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