Japan Medical Association fears medical system will collapse if COVID-19 continues to rise


Team Great Britain is headquartered in Tokyo. Bex Wright / CNN

CNN visited Team Great Britain’s headquarters in Tokyo and found that there are some strict COVID-19 safeguards in place, which go beyond Tokyo 2020 and International Olympic Committee guidelines.

The team has acquired an elementary school along the coast overlooking Tokyo Bay for athlete training and medical services. They have decorated Union Jack designs on the walls of the four-story building, and even have a rooftop garden with Union Jack deck chairs for athletes to relax in.

There is an almost complete ban on personal interviews until after athletes have completed all of their events.

This is partly to prevent a possible infection, which could force athletes to miss the Games. Another reason for this is so that athletes can stay mentally focused.

To reach the Waterside Complex, the CNN team went through a rigorous testing process.

Members of the media team took a rapid antigen test, also known as a lateral flow test, which gives results within 15 minutes. The tests are not as accurate as PCR tests but give a quick indication of positive cases.

CNN interviews Team GB swimmer Tom Dean.  Interviews are held for less than ten minutes.
CNN interviews Team GB swimmer Tom Dean. Interviews are held for less than ten minutes. Bex Wright / CNN

The test is self-administered, guided by a member of the Team GB team. Media personnel have to wipe their throats and nostrils with a long cotton swab, which is then dropped into a tube of liquid solution. That solution is then dropped onto a small plastic test device. Results are visible after 15 minutes, with one row for negative or two lines for positive — similar to a pregnancy test.

After the CNN team tested negative, it was allowed to continue on the fourth-floor terrace, where media teams have been prepared to talk to their medal-winning athletes. Interviews are conducted in an outdoor rooftop space, with reporters and athletes standing two meters apart, maintaining social distancing.

The conversation lasted less than 10 minutes, a sign that even though COVID-19 cases in the UK are rising rapidly at home, the team on the field in Tokyo is taking every precaution.

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