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Tokyo Olympics gather a lot of spit to suppress COVID | World News

Yuri Kageyama AP Business Writer

Tokyo (AP) — They spit. They wait. They hope.

According to the organizers, at the Olympic Games, about 30,000 people from dozens of countries spit on small plastic vials in their daily lives, which have become very important in advancing games in the pandemic era. increase.

Calculations over the two-week period of the Olympics show a total of 500,000 saliva samples collected for athletes and other venues tested daily, with extraordinary efforts to curb the COVID epidemic. 19 infectious diseases. At about 1 milliliter per sample, it … well, makes a lot of saliva.

In contrast, such tests have long been difficult to find for the average Japanese. Japan is unique among developed countries in that it discourages extensive testing of coronavirus.

Thousands of collected saliva samples are stored in tubes, identified by barcode, and then all pre-tested. According to the Olympic organizer’s Playbook, those with suspicious results will take another test outlining COVID-19 measures.

The test is conducted at a facility called Fever Clinic. The Fever Clinic also cares for and quarantines infected people within the so-called “Olympic bubble.” When a COVID-19 infection is identified or suspected, “close contact” is also tested to identify other people who may be ill. This is a whac-a-mole process that takes place under controlled conditions. The organizer is a clinic or a specific arrangement.

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These tests do not require a cotton swab to pierce the nose, another common method of testing for coronavirus.

According to medical personnel, the examination fee for athletes, team officers, media, etc. related to the competition is estimated to be about 10,000 yen ($ 100) each time, but the submitter is free. Testing for Japanese citizens generally costs that much, and sometimes even more.

Some medical professionals have expressed concern that the Olympics will turn into a “superspreader” event. The number of daily coronavirus cases surged in Tokyo to a record high, surpassing 3,000 this week.

Professor Takanori Teshima of Hokkaido University, who helped develop tests used in Japan, including airports, said that the constant careful testing of Olympic athletes means that the risks are predominantly in the general public and make athletes sick. Say it’s not the other way around.

“As you know, not everyone listens and stays isolated, and it’s best to test at the time of testing,” he said. “But this is possible only at the Olympics. It is unrealistic to think that this method can be continued as a routine.”

Shosuke Takeuchi, a doctor and director at Takeuchi Clinic Shimbashi, one of the largest coronavirus testing sites in Tokyo, said that the person with the most contagious lifestyle is the one who wins, so voluntary testing is sick. Do not ask for tests that have acknowledged that you may be limited in preventing the spread of.

The enthusiastic testing at the Olympics led to a shortage, and some national teams recently complained that the test kit had not arrived. The organizers scrambled to provide additional kits.

As of Friday, 23 athletes and other athletes working in the competition, including Japanese residents such as security officials, have tested positive, for a total of 220 tested. However, according to the organizers in Tokyo, the positive test rate at the Olympic Games is still relatively low, at 0.02% in July, as more than 340,000 tests have been conducted so far.

And the place where COVID-19 seems to be most prevalent isn’t the enthusiastically tested Olympic venue, but the crowded streets of Tokyo, says Teshima and other medical professionals.

Professor Masaharu Isobe of the University of Toyama’s Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory, who developed a rapid COVID antigen test, said that routine tests may soon become commonplace for everyone.

“The point is to find infected people as soon as possible and prevent them from spreading it everywhere,” he said.

Nevertheless, Keio University economist and emeritus professor Masaru Kaneko, reflecting a wide range of opinions, is unfair that such tests are given to Olympic athletes on a daily basis, but in general. It says it’s still difficult for people.

Japanese Olympic athletes and staff are also prioritizing vaccination, but deployment to the general public has been delayed, about one-quarter of the fully vaccinated population so far, Kaneko said on Twitter. Said in the account.

“Equality in right to life is not guaranteed in Japan,” he said.

Testing someone every day is a tedious and costly endeavor, and at the Olympics it is a special government-backed effort, Teshima said.

“It’s a big contradiction,” he said. “Why only athletes?”

Follow Yuri Kageyama, an Associated Press journalist based in Tokyo, on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama.. Other AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics When https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.



Tokyo Olympics gather a lot of spit to suppress COVID | World News

Source link Tokyo Olympics gather a lot of spit to suppress COVID | World News

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