MANILA, Philippines -- (2nd UPDATE) The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has confirmed that it will be sending home a coach of Team Philippines, after a "back-and-forth" of false positives and negative tests for COVID-19 in Tokyo, Japan.
POC president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino told Philippine media in Tokyo that daily tests at the Athletes Village initially yielded a false positive test result.
The coach was promptly isolated and given a confirmatory test, which turned out negative. However, a third test on the following day yielded another false positive on the 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," said Tolentino. "If the next result is negative, we are sending him home. If he again tests positive, he will be brought to a quarantine hospital."
The coach passed the rigid screening at the Narita airport upon arrival in Tokyo, as he returned negative results from two RT-PCR tests.
"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. "To further mitigate the risks to the Philippine team, we have decided to separate the coach from the delegation."
Tolentino is optimistic that this will have little impact on Team Philippines as it prepares to compete in the Summer Games.
"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," he said.
It was not immediately clear if the persons that the coach was in close contact with will be isolated too. They have yielded negative results for COVID-19.
The Tokyo Olympics officially open on July 23, with the Philippines to be represented by 19 athletes.
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