All sports coverage abroad involves a series of daily tasks and responsibilities for the smooth running of the entire work structure. It is just as important, for example, to be aware of the bus schedule that takes you to the competition arenas, as it is always to be in possession of a passport and credentials to any destination you may choose.
In Tokyo, the routine of these little things was added to by Covid. It is true that each one complies with the distancing determinations, use of alcohol gel and other measures with different frequency. And the organization of the Games is not always aware of this. But one of the protective measures is strictly adhered to: tests to control possible cases of infection, which may arise after the arrival of press professionals in Japan.
Everyone who arrives in Tokyo to cover the Games must test in the first three days after landing. The type of test is PCR, but not what we usually do in Brazil, with a cotton swab inside our nose. Here, the collected material is saliva and the person himself separates the content. To do this, you need to put a not-too-large amount of saliva into a small bottle, cap it and deliver it to a specific sector in the MPC – the Games media center – or to one of the arenas. This sample is associated with a bar code, precisely so that among thousands of samples you can know exactly which one is yours and which result is actually yours.
Because of the possibility that the result could be considered inclusive, we should not ingest anything in the thirty minutes prior to collection. No drinking, eating, brushing teeth or smoking (which is actually prohibited in many places in Tokyo, even outdoors). And as with any coverage like this, any minute makes a difference, it’s best to wake up early for the pickup. If the idea was to get up at 7:00, how about getting up at 6:55 and getting rid of it soon?
We saw a lot of people involved in coverage of the games – practically everyone – wearing the protective mask and using Japanese government apps to report their health conditions. But testing is really the most efficient method of actually having control. Depending on the type of activity of those involved in coverage of the Games, the frequency of exams changes after the first three days. In our case, we will test every day until the end of the Paralympics. And in case anyone is nervous, I didn’t put it to the end on purpose, but yes, so far we’ve only tested negative.
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