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Olympics team could receive COVID vaccine

Tokyo-bound: Christine Botlogetswe is one of the five athletes who have qualified for the Olympics PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Members of the Botswana Olympic Games team are likely to receive the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination ahead of the Tokyo 2020 competition, which takes place in August.

The team’s chef de mission Tshepo Sitale said vaccination is one of the various interventions proposed. He said the medical team would, therefore, guide them accordingly. “There is a collaboration between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the host country, Japan on protocols for all athletes who would be participating in the games,” he said. Sitale said the Ministry of Health and Wellness is also a stakeholder, regularly engaged, together with Team Botswana Olympics medical team.

A recent coordination meeting for COVID-19 countermeasures at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, discussed immigration issues for games staff and athletes. The virtual meeting was attended by key Olympic Games stakeholders, including the games’ Organising Committee and Tokyo Metropolitan government. An athlete track system was established following the virtual deliberations. “This system will allow athletes, coaches and games staff participating in competitions and preparations for the games (including essential test events, qualifying competitions, warm-up games, and pre-camp events) and

entry into Japan under the condition of implementation of all necessary preventive measures against infectious disease,” reads a statement released after the meeting.

The tracking system would allow athletes to participate in the competitions or their work without a 14-day waiting period after their entry. “Building on these measures, we would make adjustments based on discussions with the IOC and the international federations and formulate steps that would be taken during the actual games.” Tokyo 2020 has also announced that they are reconsidering the number of athletes to be present at the opening and closing ceremonies amid suggestions that around 6,000 of the 11,000 participants would be permitted to attend.

Athletes are expected to arrive in the Tokyo 2020 Athletes’ Village no earlier than five days before their competition and departing a maximum of two days afterwards. They are also expected to acclimatise to the time differences in pre-games training camps in Japan rather than in the Olympic Village.


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