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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 22.09.2020, 05:41

All Rally Estonia competitors to undergo coronavirus testing at SYNLAB

BC, Tallinn, 27.08.2020.Print version
In order to prevent and hinder the spread of coronavirus at the first WRC rally to be held in Estonia, Rally Estonia and SYNLAB Estonia signed a cooperation agreement according to which all drivers, their team members and people connected to the competition center to be located at the Estonian National Museum will undergo testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

SYNLAB will open special so-called drive-in sample-taking points for testing the WRC teams at Tallinn Airport, Tallinn port's terminals A and D and, for those arriving via Latvia, SYNLAB's premises at 37b Teguri Street in Tartu. Nasopharyngeal samples are tested in SYNLAB's Tallinn laboratory, where about 1,000 laboratory analyzes are performed over the course of a few days.

"There are many teams coming to the rally, for example, from Spain, France and elsewhere, where the spread of the coronavirus is high. In cooperation with the rally management team and partners, we will do our best to ensure that the rally does not bring any new coronavirus cases to Estonia. One measure to ensure this is mandatory testing, set up in cooperation with SYNLAB, for all drivers as soon as they arrive, followed by self-isolation until the test result is known. Only after a negative result will they be allowed into the competition area. Drivers who have already arrived in Estonia must pass a repeat test 24 hours before receiving accreditation," Urmo Aava, director of Rally Estonia, said.

"The first WRC rally in Estonia is an important milestone for our country's reputation, so it is extremely important that this major event takes place as safely as possible in these difficult times for the whole world. Rally Estonia volunteers rushed to our aid as the crisis broke out from the middle of March, helping to bring coronavirus samples to our central laboratory from across Estonia over the course of three months. Of course, we will fully support them in organizing a major event for them and for the whole of Estonia in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during the rally," Rainar Aamisepp, chairman of the management board of SYNLAB Estonia, said.

"SYNLAB has well-established experience in medical security for major sporting events. UEFA entrusted us, as Europe's largest laboratory service provider, with testing prior to football events held under the auspices of UEFA in 2020-2021. A few days ago, the final tournaments of this year's European League and Champions League ended, the Nations League, women's and men's national team qualifiers' cycle, the 2021 Champions League and European League qualifiers, as well as youth tournaments are about to begin. SYNLAB is also testing all foreign guests arriving at Ironman. We will also make extra efforts with the SYNLAB team for the success of the WRC rally and the operative service of rally drivers -- we are setting up additional processes in the laboratory so that all drivers and teams can safely commit to the race," he added.

In order for the samples to reach the SYNLAB laboratory in Tallinn as soon as possible from the Rally Estonia center, that is the Tartu testing site, Rally Estonia volunteers are once again coming to the rescue and will be heading with the samples to the capital every hour during the pre-rally peak time.

"All those tested will receive their results on their phones, team leaders and the rally medical manager will also be able to see the test results in real time. This fast data flow will allow for immediate isolation and for teams to reorganize their work," Aava said.

"Many thanks to Tallinna Sadam and Tallinn Airport, who cooperated extensively in creating the most suitable testing sites. This provided an opportunity to create new special purpose testing points, in addition to those where we serve the people of Estonia on a daily basis. In this way, we can best contribute to the safest possible sporting event -- Rally Estonia," Aamisepp said.

Rally passes are divided into altogether 16 groups, with 1,000 tickets sold in each group. By doing so, the organizer can ensure that each group of 1,000 moves around at a different time and place throughout the rally weekend. The groups of 1,000 will not come into contact with each other and mix in the rally area and during the rally. All spectators are advised to come to see the speed tests with a personal mask, and if necessary, masks will also be distributed in the spectator areas where there are possibilities for hand disinfection.

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