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Olympics: Covid false alarm has IOA officials sweating

It later turned out that some first-time user had “inadvertently” made wrong entries into the system

IANS | Mumbai |

On a day when the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was considering reducing its opening ceremony contingent to a bare minimum, an error by a user in entering information into the Games Organising Committee’s health app had officials worried for some time as three Indians were shown to have Covid-19 symptoms.

As the IOA and the sports ministry had made special arrangements to get all Tokyo-bound Indian athletes vaccinated, it was a matter of concern for IOA president Narinder Batra.

What added to the confusion was that while the ‘Infection Control Software’ showed three Indians with symptoms on one day, it did not show any cases the next day.

“Please advise on correct and factual status since in one report it shows three Indians in Tokyo with symptoms and in second report as nil,” Batra messaged Dr Prem Verma, the Indian contingent’s doctor and deputy chef de mission.

“It is a serious issue, hence request for correct and factual status so that if required we get necessary arrangements done for concerned to look after them. It is important for me to know please,” Batra said in his message.

It later turned out that some first-time user had “inadvertently” made wrong entries into the system.

Dr Verma, who is the Covid liaison officer of the Indian contingent, clarified that no one was showing any Covid symptoms.

Dr Verma said someone might have made wrong entry while updating his/her health record, which led to the system raising an alarm. “There is no positive case in team India,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, considering the health risks due to the pandemic, the IOA has decided to put up only a limited number of sportspersons and officials to take part in the Games opening ceremony on Friday.

According to IOA officials, some members of the contingent who have events on Saturday have been advised to avoid taking part in the opening ceremony.

There are some who are still in isolation after reaching Tokyo in the last couple of days. Even otherwise, the IOA seems not too keen on allowing more than a handful of Indian athletes to participate in the ceremony, which is expected to end around midnight on Friday.