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72 test positive for COVID-19 among Beijing 2022-related personnel

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72 confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 have been reported related to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games between January 4 and 22.

BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) — A total of 72 confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 have been reported related to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games between January 4 and 22, the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) announced on Sunday.

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

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Beijing 2022 organizers have stressed that there is no widespread infection inside the closed loop and the epidemic is under control.

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.

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, a 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.

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.

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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.

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.

BOCOG has expressed its confidence in epidemic prevention and control measures.

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“Through strict closed-loop management and personal protection, especially daily COVID-19 testing, we can achieve early detection of positive cases before stopping the transmission and handling the situation in time,” said Huang.

During international test events and the test run of pre-Games closed-loop management, no widespread infection has taken place in the closed loop, and the epidemic is under control, he noted.

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