Sun, 22 May 2022

Beijing [China], January 23 (ANI): The Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) announced on Sunday that a total of 72 confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 have been reported related to the games between January 4 and 22.

Among those confirmed positive cases, 39 were detected in entry tests and 33 in closed-loop tests, reported Xinhua.

The number of cases reflects that the "Zero-COVID policy" of China has failed to contain coronavirus.

BOCOG revealed that there were 2,586 Games-related personnel entering China between January 4 and 22, among whom 171 are athletes and team officials and 2,415 are other stakeholders, reported Xinhua.

336,421 COVID-19 tests have been conducted within the closed-loop in this span, with 175 by athletes and team officials and 336,246 by other stakeholders.

According to the Beijing 2022 Playbook, closed-loop management is in place to ensure a safe and secure environment for Games-related personnel and work staff, who are completely separated from people outside the loop and local citizens, reported Xinhua.

Designated gate positions, areas, pathways and lines have been set up at Beijing Capital International Airport, the entry point for overseas Olympic participants, to form a complete closed-loop, said Huang Chun, Deputy Director-General of BOCOG's Pandemic Prevention and Control Office.

These designated areas are completely separated from other areas, and Games-related personnel will not have any intersection with ordinary passengers.

All personnel in the closed-loop are required to use Games-dedicated vehicles between designated places without any contact with people outside the loop and local citizens, he added.

As the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, BOCOG has called for all participants to strictly abide by the Playbook, which has outlined COVID-19 countermeasures, including full vaccination, wearing a face mask (KN95, N95, FFP2, or equivalent standard of protection), and minimizing physical interaction, reported Xinhua.

According to the Playbook, those who have a confirmed positive test will not be allowed to compete or continue their role. If symptomatic, they will be asked to stay at the designated hospital for treatment. If asymptomatic, they will be asked to stay in an isolation facility. There will be accessible rooms and experienced on-site personnel to assist with daily care tasks for those who require it.

Those who are asymptomatic will return to their Games-time role after being discharged from isolation, and confirmed cases will resume their Games-time role after recovery and will be asked to adopt additional countermeasures, reported Xinhua.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Omicron variant has been cropping up across China in recent days, including in major port cities like Dalian and Tianjin.

Also, as the rest of the world learns to live with the virus, economists say China's zero-tolerance strategy is likely to do more bad than good in 2022, Omicron could deal a blow to successfully organize Winter Olympics. (ANI)

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