Chess Olympiad players will have medical coverage

Tamil Nadu Department of Health will deploy medical teams and ambulances and provide screening for COVID-19 at airports, hotels and venues, in addition to providing health insurance coverage of up to ₹2 lakh each for some 1,900 players participating in the 44th Chess Olympiad

Tamil Nadu Department of Health will deploy medical teams and ambulances and provide screening for COVID-19 at airports, hotels and venues, in addition to providing health insurance coverage of up to ₹2 lakh each for some 1,900 players participating in the 44th Chess Olympiad

As the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad is about to begin next week, the health department is deploying medical teams and ambulances, conducting COVID-19 screening at airports, hotels and venues, monitoring food security and prepared health insurance coverage of up to ₹2 lakh to each of the approximately 1,900 players.

Players from around 180 countries are taking part in the Chess Olympiad which is due to take off on July 28. For its part, the health department is accelerating preparations, including emergency care, COVID-19 testing and food safety.

Officials said nearly 1,000 people, including medics and field officers from the department, have been drafted in after proper training. Thirty ambulances would be stationed in the hotels where the players would be accommodated.

“The players will be accommodated in 21 hotels. We therefore have a permanent medical team for three hotels. They will be available 24 hours a day. At the main site, we will have specialist doctors available in case of emergency,” said a health official.

The special medical team consisting of doctors from general medicine, surgery, anaesthesia, orthopedics and obstetrics-gynecology would be in place at the Chess Olympiad venue in Mamallapuram.

Insurance cover

If a player were to be hospitalized, the state government would pay the medical expenses for which health insurance coverage has been prepared.

“We paid a premium of ₹300 for each player under the already existing Memorandum of Understanding with United India Insurance (for the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme). We have a list of 1,925 players participating in the Olympiad. This will give coverage of up to ₹2 lakh per player for 15 days in private incorporated hospitals,” another official said.

The department has identified 13 hospitals in and around OMR and ECR.

Food security is one of the priority areas. “The measurements were taken two or three months ago when we started food safety training for staff in the hospitality industry. We identified hotels and undertook three or four rounds of inspections depending on the improvements There are also a number of street vendors and small eateries, as well as a number of beach side eateries in and around Mamallapuram, so we conducted special training on how to how to prepare food hygienically,” an official said.

Nearly 100 people have been delegated from other districts to monitor food safety measures at all hotels, the official said.

COVID-19 screening

For its part, the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Directorate will handle appropriate COVID-19 behavior and RT-PCR testing in addition to the monkeypox guidelines.

Officials said the tests would be carried out in accordance with the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research. Two per cent of the flight’s total passengers, including players, coaches, support staff and visitors, would undergo random post-arrival testing upon arrival at the airport. All must have taken two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and must produce a vaccination certificate or a negative RTPCR certificate taken within 72 hours before boarding, a management statement said.

A heat shield would be in place. All would be screened daily for symptoms and if found to be symptomatic, the candidate would be isolated, tested and treated according to protocol.

Apart from these measures, a sanitary control room has been set up to coordinate the work.

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