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Beijing Olympics reports no new Covid cases for first time

Lamya Abdulla
17 February 2022, MVT 11:38
Spectators watch athletes compete in the freestyle skiing men's freeski halfpipe qualification run during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Genting Snow Park H & S Stadium in Zhangjiakou on February 17, 2022. -- Photo: Marco Bertorello / AFP
Lamya Abdulla
17 February 2022, MVT 11:38

Beijing Olympics organisers said Thursday that there were no new Covid cases in the "closed-loop" bubble for the first time, hailing the success of China's strict approach.

There were fears ahead of the Olympics that Covid could badly impact the Games, especially with the more contagious Omicron variant.

The nearly 3,000 athletes and more than 60,000 support staff, volunteers, journalists and others are cocooned inside a vast bubble where they must be tested every day and wear a mask at all times.

There have been 435 cases in the bubble since January 24, when official figures began to be released, among them an unknown number of athletes.

But the daily number of positive Covid tests inside the bubble has been dwindling as the Games reaches its conclusion on Sunday, with no positive PCR tests on Wednesday.

"It proves that the countermeasures inside the closed loop have been effective," said Huang Chun, from the local organising committee's office of pandemic control.

"Through hosting the Games successfully and the successful implementation of the countermeasures, that is a successful model for Olympic Winter Games against the backdrop of Covid-19."

© Agence France-Presse

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