Tokyo 2020 tests security and COVID-19 prevention measures

Tokyo, Oct 21 (efe-epa).- Organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have put the security measures they are considering to the test, in which anti-COVID-19 measures such as the use of heat-sensitive stickers will be added to routine controls.

Tokyo 2020 rehearses dozens of scenarios since Monday for the establishment of control measures in the areas of access and transit of spectators and personnel, a process opened to the press Wednesday, on the last day of testing.

During the trials, the functionality of devices such as metal detectors, scanners, thermal cameras or infrared thermometers to measure temperature from a distance were tested, and participants were urged to keep a safe distance while waiting, a measure to prevent COVID-19.

“We want to test various measures against the pandemic,” Tsuyoshi Iwashita, executive director of the Tokyo 2020 security division, said in an event briefing, noting that one of the main objectives of the drill was to “show how we are working to ensure safety during the games.”

Dressed in masks and transparent face shields (which can cover the entire face or from the chin to the nose), security personnel at the controls received, during several rounds, about 20 volunteers from the organization representing the public.

“Spectators” underwent temperature measurements with infrared thermometers or a thermosensitive sticker was stuck on their wrist that turns red if the surface temperature exceeds 37C, an indication of fever and one of the most common COVID-19 symptoms.

After passing the already routine luggage checks and metal detectors, security personnel asked attendees to take a sip of their drink, if they had any.

Tokyo 2020 plans to allow spectators to bring a bottle of their own drink into stadiums, but will require that its contents be tested in advance to verify that they are not harmful substances.

For its own staff, the organization contemplates the use of thermal cameras to check the temperature upon arrival and facial recognition technology.

Tests this week were also aimed at collecting data such as the time needed for the control per viewer, which will be studied in future to optimize the measures to be adopted.

“At the games there will be a lot more people and it will take place in a much hotter season. … We also have to think about this,” said Kozue Tanno, one of the security staff, who is in charge of the companies SECOM and Sohgo Security Services.

Iwashita recalled that Tokyo 2020 “has not yet decided on the measures that will finally be adopted” and when asked about the disinfection procedures that will be established for the controls, said that “they are still under consideration.”

Concerning the organization’s protocol before the discovery of an outbreak of COVID-19, infections among staff or volunteers during the games, the head of the security division said it is periodically being studied with the capital’s authorities. EFE-EPA


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