100 days out from Winter Olympics, Beijing on guard against Covid-19

Beijing, Oct 27 (EFE).- Beijing on Wednesday began its 100-day countdown to the 2022 Winter Olympics, on guard against the spread of Covid-19 outbreaks in the capital and several regions of China.

Despite the small scale of the outbreaks (around 643 active cases nationwide), Beijing has asked citizens to limit travel and has banned people who have recently been in areas where cases have been detected.

This week, organizers of the Beijing Marathon suspended the race, originally scheduled for Oct. 31, to prevent the spread of infection.

The capital, in which there were 28 active cases on Tuesday, wants to check the spread of Covid-19 with 100 days to go till the Games, which will make it the first city in the world to hold both the Summer (2008) and Winter Olympics.

The Olympic flame arrived in Beijing last week from Olympia, Greece, and will travel to various parts of the country to encourage participation in winter sports, ahead of the relay scheduled for Feb. 2-4 at three venues in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.

At that time, the city will be subject to international attention, so the authorities want to avoid a large-scale outbreak at all costs and continue to strictly apply its zero-Covid policy.

Last month, the International Olympic Committee and the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee announced preventive measures for the Games, including a 21-day quarantine period for unvaccinated athletes upon arrival in Beijing and the exclusion of international spectators.

Participants will need to record their body temperature in their home countries 14 days prior to arrival in China and undergo two nucleic acid tests within 96 hours of departure.

During their stay, athletes, staff and journalists must remain in a closed loop in the Chinese capital that will cover all their activities and venues, and adhere to preventive measures, or else face disqualification or expulsion, the organizing committee announced Wednesday.

Beijing 2022 will be the third consecutive Olympic event to be held in Asia, after the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang and the recent Tokyo 2020 summer Games. EFE


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