TOKYO—The Team Philippines coach who yielded conflicting COVID-19 test results was found to be unvaccinated.
Setback struck Team Philippines on the eve of the Summer Olympic Games here, when the embattled coach was separated from the team and will be quarantined following a positive test for COVID-19, Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino revealed during a mini conference at the CONRAD Tokyo.
It was later found out that the coach was the only one from his team not vaccinated against COVID-19.
The daily tests at the Athletes Village on coaches and players, yielded a false positive test on the said coach, prompting his isolation and a confirmatory test, which turned out be negative. A third and fourth test yielded two positive results on the said coach, who is now running a fever.
“While waiting for another confirmatory test, I have ordered our chef de mission Mariano Araneta to separate him from our team. If the next result is negative, we are sending him home. If he again tests positive, he will be brought to a quarantine hospital. Either way, wala na muna siya sa team,” said Tolentino earlier while waiting for the fourth test result.
Armed with two negative RT-PCR tests, the coach planed in last July 17 and passed the rigid screening at the Narita airport.
“The coach must have gotten it on the plane or at the airport, during the incubation period kaya hindi lumabas sa tests noong una,” said Tolentino, who informed the national sports association involved of his decision.
“They have accepted it, for the good of the team,” said Tolentino.
“To further mitigate the risks to the Philippine team, we have decided to separate the coach from the delegation,” said POC Secretary General Edwin Gastanes.
Tolentino, however, sees little impact this will bring to the Team Philippines here.
“Maybe, to the national sports association involved, apektado sila kasi nawalan sila ng coach, but to the rest of the Team Philippines, I don’t see their morale going down because of this. Everyone is in high spirits and raring to go to battle for the country,” said Tolentino.
It was not immediately known if the persons the coach have been in close contact with, will be isolated, too, although they have yielded negative results for COVID-19 infection.