sports

Tokyo Olympic organizers show security and COVID-19 countermeasures

29 Comments
By Jack Tarrant

Tokyo Olympics organizers wrapped up three days of tests on Wednesday, trialing a number of security and COVID-19 countermeasures and asking supporters and officials to pack less to wait less when entering venues during the Games.

During the tests at Tokyo Big Sight, a convention center that will host media during the postponed Games next year, organizers assessed various technologies to monitor body temperatures of spectators.

As seen at other sporting events during the global pandemic, thermology cameras and non-contact infrared thermometers were used but organizers also tested the use of 'thermometer strips'.

bodytemp.jpg
A participant shows a body temperature sticker during a screening test for spectators and officials. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko

The strips, which were pasted onto the wrists of volunteers being used in the trial, contain heat-sensitive liquid crystals and can immediately detect if the wearer has a fever.

Another key element of the field test was checking how smoothly spectators can pass through the inspection area while other measures, such as social distancing in queues, are being enforced.

Volunteers presented security personnel with more than 40 different scenarios, including forgetting to wear a mask and trying to bring an aerosol can through security, to test their readiness for the Games.

Organizers were happy with the testing but said more trials will be needed when full COVID-19 protocols are decided.

"Pack less, wait less. We don't want to delay the excitement, so please come with very little luggage," urged Tokyo 2020 Security Director Tsuyoshi Iwashita. "For the testing of security measures, probably this is the last one.

"As for COVID-19, when we finalize the measures, we want to check these processes. To do so, we will set up further types of testing occasions."

Tokyo organizers have yet to conclude whether fans will be allowed into venues during the Olympics, which run from July 23 – Aug. 8 next year.

Meanwhile, almost 80% of volunteers for the Olympics are concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, a Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) survey showed.

The survey of over 13,000 volunteers found almost half were also worried about the impact the delay will have "on the level of enthusiasm".

In response to the findings, TMG said it has been creating "infection control manuals" to ensure a safe and secure environment for volunteer activities and that further training would be provided.

Online training will continue until March when the volunteers will be notified of which role they will fill at the Games, which begin in July.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Click For Restrictions - https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
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Excellent prep for the 2056 Olympics

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Nice. But do the organizers know that you can have COVID and still have normal body temperature?

27 ( +29 / -2 )

Ask for volunteers to test viral response methods.

Survey volunteers about if they are concerned about the spread.

Report shocking finding that most volunteers are concerned.

Ever heard of a thing called selection bias?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I wonder how much this little showcase cost the taxpayers; its sole purpose just to show the Olymics are viable? The various temperature measuring devices look no different than the ones used when you enter just about any shop in Tokyo nowadays.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Yeah and what do you do with the people who take these strips off or they drop off? Summer heat in Tokyo, sweat, and "stickers" dont exactly work too well! Not to mention the costs involved.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Great, now how are you going to let people into the country?

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Yubaru - Exactly. When testing, you try to simulate the exact conditions and environment you'll be executing in and late October is nothing like July. This is like the national disaster day when people play with a fire extinguisher and govt officials wear work clothes in preparation for a real world disaster, totally not connected with reality.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I don't think I would call that countermeasures. I would call it Covid-19 theater.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

I said it before. I'm guessing that many Olympians will simply not show up, forcing the postponement yet again. Or if the pandemic is not under control many countries will just bow out, and Japan will look very silly for still attempting to host it

19 ( +21 / -2 )

When will these dim witted cronies finally realise that reducing test numbers to show lower numbers of positive cases and temperature tests which have clearly been proven as ineffective as asking people if they feel sick, are not going to keep people safe or stop the spread?

Just cancel the 2021 Olympics and move the whole scheduling up by four years to 2024. If they can't get this virus under control by then, I would think the world has far bigger problems.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

You are showing that you are greedy, stubborn and selfish.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Suga, is a promoter of the games. He is one of the individuals responsible for the increasing influx of tourists, especially from China. He is a proponent of foreign tourists as a means to pump up the economy, ignoring the adverse impacts of industrial tourism. The Olympics were a key component to the strategy. As stated, the games will go forward no matter the costs to the public, an unintended reveal, that the health and welfare of the population is not of concern and the citizenry is expendable. What is of import is the monetary investment and the return to shareholders in terms of profit. The recent intent to allow business travel to Japan is tied to the games, as preparatory measures are required to get the games on track. Though not the sole reason, it is a large factor and certainly unwise. Suga has served a lifetime in service to a master other than the people or the greater good, such is reflected in the rebirth of an intent to hold the games, no matter the cost.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

What a waste of time. Taking temperatures does not stop the spread of the virus. It does not indicate whether a person has the virus.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

This is all wrong.

There should be no need to test people for the Olympics. If people need to be tested like that, there is a much simpler, more effective solution. Cancel the Olympics.

If there is a need to test like this for an event for which people travel from all over the world, there is a chance that Covid could be spread around the world again, spread back to countries that have already eliminated the threat.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Much like Leslie Nielsen in Police Story as he says "Nothing to see here, move along, move along."

9 ( +9 / -0 )

what a large waste of tax payers money...for what?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

What about the 72 hours pre-flight test?

Is it still required?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I'll keep well clear of Tokyo if the games go ahead. Expensive I know, but wait until '22

4 ( +6 / -2 )

About body temperature, just have some pills of paracetamol. I am sure you know one brand in your country ;)

What do you think I do before I travel by plane if ever I feel too hot ?

There is no countermeasures outside testing everyone.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If they need foreign volunteers for input I am happy to oblige.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

This is going to result in enormously long lines, where the virus will spread with little impediment. Stay as far away as you can.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

But do the organizers know that you can have COVID and still have normal body temperature?

Don't tell them. The "experts" didn't know.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Idiots, testing for temps only is NOT going to work, surely THAT is obvious by now

6 ( +7 / -1 )

a lot of negative comments amongst this group - but you've probably all just been put under hard lock down again in your respective countries. Japan - no hard lockdown and people acting responsibly, getting on with lives, and as far as can be seen hospitals are not having any troubles - which is the key indicator. can't wait for Olympics 2021. Negotiating tickets now for 100M sprint final.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Why would anyone come during a pandemic? Olympics are not life or death

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Omg Japan :(

Totally lost touch with reality....

Again.

If the IOC accepts these "counter measures" then they are just as stupid as I thought they were.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Whatever clown show they do, everybody must be in secure quarantine for 2 weeks. With testing throughout.

the virus appears between 2-14 days after infection. This is fact, not fiction.

although it is well know research, I can also tell a personal story. My cousin, her husband all tested engine when before visiting. In quarantine he tested positive, then 2 days later my cousin. Then a few days later both of their kids. The controlled quarantine prevented NZ going into another serious lockdown.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Testing in unrealistic circumstances is only window dressing. During the Olympics you do not have 50 people wanting to get into the stadium but 50,000. 

And as someone mentioned here, October has around 20 degrees C and late July closer to 40 degrees C. 

But the staff needs to be kept busy, the officials must look responsible and the media oblige.

The one important part is that the Olympics must be fun and a party, if you can not have fun or a party with friends for any reason, than why have the Olympics ?   

It is already impossible to expect a " normal " Olympics with new waves now in Europe while in the US the wave has never receded.  From China, nothing can be believed.  

It will be impossible to hold qualifiers again in normal conditions and who is going to travel from abroad ?  No fans, at best the officials, some of the sponsors guests, media as they find it always hard to resist a free trip, and of the course the athletes and close families possibly.

But the international, global friendship event that the Olympics originally were meant to be will be less so than ever. And already the Olympics are only about business under the cover of sports. Time for a complete and total revamp and reset.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To help identify the organizers, they'll wear extra large shoes, a bit reddish, and when travelling they'll travel together emerging from a single vehicle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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