About 220 Team Singapore athletes, coaches and officials have completed COVID-19 vaccinations: SportSG
SINGAPORE: About 220 of Team Singapore's athletes, coaches and officials have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations, with the inoculation of athletes travelling to the Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics an "immediate priority", said Sport Singapore (SportSG) on Thursday (May 27).
In response to queries from CNA, head of the Singapore Sport Institute Toh Boon Yi said that the vaccination process began earlier this year.
"We started the vaccination for our athletes, coaches and officials in February and, so far, about 220 have completed their vaccinations," said Mr Toh.
"We will continue to progressively vaccinate athletes, coaches and key officials representing Singapore at the upcoming major Games, by end-May 2021. In the same way, more athletes, coaches and other officials will be vaccinated progressively leading up to the year-end SEA Games."
He also noted that with the Olympic and Paralympic Games looming, those with an immediate need to travel to train or compete overseas, in respect of these two competitions, have been given priority.
He added: "Sport Singapore will ensure that the Team Singapore contingent are vaccinated before the upcoming major Games. Athletes with existing medical conditions will consult the Singapore Sport Institute Medical team on their suitability to receive the vaccine."
The Tokyo Olympics which was postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will begin on Jul 23. A number of athletes including Joseph Schooling, who is the defending champion in the 100m butterfly, have already qualified for the Games.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday expressed his well wishes for the athletes travelling to Tokyo.
"Our sporting community is one of the groups hard hit by the pandemic," said Mr Lee in a Facebook post.
"Team Singapore launched a campaign to support our athletes as they prepare for the Olympics and Paralympics, which were postponed last year due to COVID-19. Despite the disruptions, they have been training hard and making sacrifices, including deferring their studies."
Replying to CNA's queries, the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) said that the athletes and their performance teams were working hard in the final stages of their preparation ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
“With the support from the Government, National Sports Associations and Singaporeans-at-large, Team Singapore has been able to continue training under the current safe management measures," said a SNOC spokesperson.
"We continue to work closely with the (International Olympic Committee), Tokyo Organising Committee and the respective agencies and authorities in Singapore to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the contingent as they fulfil their Olympic aspirations."
Following a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, Japan is currently under its third state of emergency, which is slated to run till May 21.
Since peaking in the middle of May, cases in Tokyo and Japan have begun to dip. On Wednesday the capital reported a total of 743 COVID-19 cases - a 23.3 per cent decline from two weeks before.
The Paralympics are slated to begin on Aug 24, and will run until Sep 5.