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Olympic operations not affected by pandemic situation

Updated: Jan 24, 2022 By CUI JIA China Daily Print
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The Beijing 2022 opening ceremony rehearsal was conducted at the National Stadium, or the "Bird Nest," on Jan 22, 2022. About 4,000 participants were involved in the all-factor rehearsal, preparing for the opening ceremony to be held on Feb 4. [Photo/Xinhua]

Thirty-nine people involved with the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have tested positive for COVID-19 at Beijing Capital International Airport upon their arrival from Jan 4 to Saturday, while 33 other confirmed cases have been reported in the closed loop, the organizing committee said.

All of the infected are stakeholders but not athletes, the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games said in a statement on Sunday.

Stakeholders include broadcasting staffers, members of international federations, marketing partners' personnel, Olympic and Paralympic family members and media and workforce staff members.

According to the latest version of the Beijing 2022 Playbook, when the stakeholders are confirmed to have COVID-19, they will be taken to designated hospitals for treatment if they are symptomatic. If they are asymptomatic, they will be asked to stay in an isolation facility.

The statement emphasized that all Olympic-related personnel who enter China and Games staff members must implement closed-loop management, under which they are kept completely separated from outsiders.

From Jan 4 to Saturday, 2,586 Olympic-related arrivals-171 athletes and team officials and 2,415 other stakeholders-entered China at the airport. After they were tested for COVID-19 at the airport, 39 confirmed cases have been reported.

Meanwhile, in the closed loop during the same period, 336,421 tests for COVID-19 had been administered, and 33 cases were confirmed, the statement said.

The operation of the 2022 Games hasn't been affected by the pandemic situation. On Sunday, all three Olympic villages began to receive international athletes and team officials. Designed and constructed to the highest standards of green and sustainable housing, the villages will be able to accommodate 5,500 Olympians.

Although the three Olympic villages in Beijing's Chaoyang and Yanqing districts and Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, will officially become the home of athletes and officials around the world on Thursday, they were opened for trial operations for those who have arrived in advance for preparatory work.

On Sunday, the village in Beijing's Chaoyang district welcomed Winter Olympics delegations of 21 countries and regions. The advance team of the Chinese delegation was among the first to arrive and received the keys to the athletes' apartments, according to the operations team of the village in Beijing's Chaoyang district.

The village's staff members will confirm with each delegation the registration details of athletes who will check in there, and then tell them the location of their rooms in the village.

"Our goal is to make athletes feel safe and comfortable in their 'home'. The trial operation period between Sunday and Thursday will help the operations team provide better services to the Olympians," said Shen Qianfan, head of the village's operations team.

Meanwhile, the rehearsal for the Beijing 2022 opening ceremony was held at the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, on Saturday night and involved about 4,000 participants. The opening ceremony is set for Feb 4.

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