Wed, 18 May 2022

Beijing [China], January 19 (ANI): Weeks ahead of the Winter Olympics, China is witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases in its major cities including Beijing despite the strict lockdown, said a media report.

The Winter Olympics is just a few weeks ahead. But there is a lot of fear and uncertainty in the air. Despite the enforcement of the 'Zero Covid' policy, China is witnessing viral breakouts and subsequent lockdowns on a large scale, The HK post reported.

Xi'an, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Zhengzhou, Anyang, Yuzhou are among the major cities in China where COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate.

This casts a pall on the Beijing Olympics, which is already marred by diplomatic boycotts and environmental concerns, said the report.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had visited the Olympics venue earlier this month asking for a "green, safe and simple" event as China "intends to demonstrate its superiority in every aspect of life- be it technology, sports or ability to control COVID-19". However, things are turning rather grim and Beijing may end up red-faced, thanks to the fast-growing number of coronavirus infections. As many as 20 million people in China have been forced to stay in their homes as many cities go into complete lockdown, The HK post reported.

The report further stated that there are high chances of majority populations getting strung by a new variant of coronavirus as the Chinese vaccines are turning useless.

Now there are reports that Beijing may have underreported infections and death rate since the onset of COVID-19. In the backdrop of the basic information being kept hidden from the public, the recent reports of fast-rising Covid patients in China are certainly discomforting for over 3,000 international athletes and thousands of trainers. It would be very difficult to keep them isolated from coronavirus infection as the support staff and spectators will be Chinese people. A single case can spoil the entire event, The HK post reported.

Highlighting that the Winter Olympics will be completely dependent on the artificial snow, The HK Post reported that manufacturing huge amount of artificial snow is environmentally unsustainable. The Alpine skiing event alone will require 1.2 million cubic meters of snow. Maintaining snow quality to meet strict requirements by the International Snow Federation can have a serious negative impact on the highly water-stressed area with little natural snow.

Moreover, human rights organizations have been demanding a boycott of the Beijing Olympics over the human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.

Some western countries including the US, UK, Canada, and Australia too have diplomatically boycotted the Beijing Olympics. Athletes too have expressed their anger.

"My answer could be applicable to human rights at large, but if you're asking what's happening in China regarding the Muslims, it's terrible, it's awful," said American ice dancer Evan Bates.

The Beijing Winter Olympics has remained controversial in the past few years. Now, the environmental concerns too added to it. However, coronavirus can be a big spoiler for the mega event if Chinese authorities fail to rein in the rising number of COVID-19 cases, The HK post reported. (ANI)

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