With just a month before the event, organizers of the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics have given the media a glimpse of the Olympic Village–a place which will house 18,000 athletes and team members.
According to various reports, this unveiling aims to assure the public that the mega-event will be safe for athletes and the Japanese public. The upgraded facilities include a fever clinic to cater for those with COVID-19 symptoms.
Aside from the dedicated virus clinic, safety and health protocols are also in place. Organizers reminded teams that drinking in groups is prohibited, and also scrapped a mixed zone for guests to enforce social distancing. (Read: 3 Apps, Social Media Platforms for COVID-Related Services)
“If there is suspicion of being infected … we should be able to properly isolate this person,” said Takashi Kitajima, general manager for the village. “This is just another example of how we are stringently managing matters about possible COVID infections.”
Other measures include reduced seating for diners and Plexiglas shields between gym equipment. Athletes will be shuttled in and out of the village and will be tested for the novel coronavirus every day. They are required to wear masks except when outdoors, sleeping, or eating. Teams will also be given a COVID-19 kit which includes hand soaps and sanitizers. (Read: A Prayer to St. Sebastian for Athletes)
The village will be transformed into thousands of luxury bayside condos after the Games.
Meanwhile, with what looks like a challenge for the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics, a member of the Ugandan Olympic team that arrived in Japan last week tested positive for COVID-19. This is despite reports that the individual was vaccinated and tested negative before travel.
With that and the fear of safety for the Japanese public, opposition to the games have become evident. National polls showed that most Japanese would prefer the event to be delayed or postponed. (Read: These Pinoy Athletes Will Headline the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics)
In fact, in a report by the South China Morning Post, a handful of protesters stood outside the village, chanting against the Olympics.