Japanese baseball team offers fans antibody tests

NHKn -- Apr 19
The Saitama Seibu Lions baseball team offered fans free coronavirus antibody tests before a game on Sunday.

A medical IT venture firm, Allm, provided the tests for the game against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks at Seibu's home ground, the MetLife Dome.

The 544 participating fans started recording the state of their health 10 days before the game, and test kits were delivered to their homes.

People with health issues and those who tested positive also had to take PCR tests before coming to the stadium. Twelve people who could not do this were given antigen tests at a neighboring facility. All 12 of them tested negative.

Seibu plans to analyze the data to prevent infections at the stadium.

The company's president, Igo Hajime, says he wants to raise awareness of the initiative, and provide a safe environment.

Antibody tests will also be offered to fans before next Sunday's game between the Yomiuri Giants and Hiroshima Carp at the Tokyo Dome.

Allm CEO Sakano Teppei says his company wants to provide a model that can be used for a wide range of social and economic activities.

- NHKn