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jump in Covid cases among athletes, officials


The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics logo is seen by people walking past Shougang Park, Beijing, on December 1, 2021.

Noel Celis | AFP | Getty Images

The number of daily Covid-19-related infections in athletes and officials at Beijing Winter Olympics has risen to 19 from just two on Friday, while Games organizers warned that there would be more.

Including the athletes and officials, 36 Games-related personnel were found to be infected — 29 when they arrived at the Beijing airport and seven already in the “closed loop” bubble that separates event personnel from the public, the organizing committee said in a statement on Saturday.

Brian McCloskey said that the Games’ chief medical officer, Brian McCloskey stated, “We are currently just passing through the peak period for people arriving in China, and we therefore expect to see highest numbers at the stage.”

McCloskey indicated that the organizers were “confident” with their Covid-19 prevention system, so infections will not be spread to others.

A Reuters analysis of past statements shows that athletes and officials had more cases than “other stakeholders” since China began releasing daily coronavirus numbers related to the Olympics on Jan. 23.

“It is annoying to have to rise early every morning to be able to receive a PCR testing. “I think it will be as easy as brushing your teeth in a couple of days,” Russian hockey player Anton Slepyshev stated to RIA News Agency.

Everyone is worried that suddenly the test results will be negative. The reality is that Covid exists in our lives. He said that we accept all risks and fear.”

Games run from Friday, February 20 to 20, in a bubble that is sealed off from China. China has been implementing a zero tolerance Covid19 policy which effectively closes the border for international visitors.