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The Beijing Games had 72 COVID cases, no athletes, among the early arrivals by Reuters

© Reuters. A security guard is nearing a closed-loop “bubble” at the Central Press Center ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in Beijing, China on January 23, 2022. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

By Tony Munroe

BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing Olympics organizers said on Sunday that they had confirmed COVID-19 cases among the 2,586 Games-related workers who entered China from January 4 to January 22, with 171 athletes and team leaders arriving within that period. .

Final preparations for the Winter Games are underway due to a worldwide rise in cases of highly infectious cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant. The games will be held from February 4 to February 20 within a “closed loop” that separates all employees of the event from the public.

Of the confirmed cases, 39 were found in airport tests and 33 inside a loop, organizers said. Bubble participants perform daily tests and performed 336,421 PCR tests from January 4 to January 22.

Brian McCloskey, chairman of the Beijing 2022 panel of medical experts, said the numbers are in line with last summer’s Tokyo Games and are in line with expectations.

“We have never set a goal of zero cases in a closed loop,” he told the online media on Sunday.

All participants in the games need two negative PCR test results within 96 hours of going to China, and most of them travel on specially arranged charter flights.

Last week, organizers said tickets to the Olympics would not be sold to the general public because of COVID-19, and instead would be distributed to groups of people who would have to take strict preventive measures before, during and after the events.

China has managed to have COVID-19 home appearances since its founding in the central city of Wuhan, and has closed its borders to international arrivals.

On Sunday, the Beijing city government introduced further measures to contain COVID-19 after finding nine locally transmitted cases the day before.

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