The Covid-19 situation at the Beijing Winter Olympics is within the ‘controllable range’, Huang Chun, deputy director-general, China’s Olympics Pandemic Prevention and Control Office said on Tuesday.
“As more people are entering China the imported Covid-19 cases are increasing, but it is within the controllable range,” Huang told in a news briefing on Tuesday.
“The COVID-19 situation is generally within our expected controllable range. So the Games participants, including athletes, and the Chinese public do not have to worry,” he added.
However, Huang said rising cases were also a result of more effective and accurate Covid-19 detection techniques by customs. He said Olympics organisers were not considering any major changes to Covid-19 control policies at the Games.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday that the organising committee for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is hoping for stadium capacities of at least 30 percent despite China’s enforcement of tight regulations to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
“In terms of capacity we are not there yet, because it has to be fine-tuned at a venue-by-venue basis, but I’d say if we have one person out of three (available spots) or out of two, that would already be a good result,” the IOC’s Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said.
The organisers reported 24 new Covid-19 cases among Games-related personnel on January 31, of which 16 were athletes. Many athletes have been ruled out of the Feb. 4-20 Games after testing positive on arrival at the airport while others who are asymptomatic are isolating.
“This is not only for Chinese spectators but for Chinese residents, and we were very insistent on that,” Dubi told the Games website. “So they are also reaching out to the expat community and making sure, through the embassies and other ways and means, to identify those who live in Beijing and could attend the Games.”