IOC Confirms 72 Positive Covid-19 Cases in Tests ahead of Winter Olympics

IOC Confirms 72 Positive Covid-19 Cases in Tests ahead of Winter Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that 72 positive Covid-19 Cases were recorded among 2,586 tested people who entered China January 4-22 to participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

However, none of the cases involved athletes or members of the technical commission of the countries. Final preparations are underway for the Winter Games amid a global spike in cases of the Omicron variant.

The Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place between February 4 and 20 within a bubble that separates the public from everyone involved in the competition.

“All positives have been isolated and their contacts have been traced. 39 were recorded in tests at the airport and 33 inside the bubble. Bubble participants undergo daily tests.” IOC said in a statement.

“There were 336,421 PCR tests performed from January 4th to 22nd. All Games participants need two negative PCR test results within 96 hours of their departure to China.” IOC added.

IOC admitted last week tickets for the Olympics will not be sold to the public due to Covid-19. According to the organizers, the available tickets will be distributed by the Beijing authorities to specific groups, which will have to comply with strict health protocols.

The Beijing government on Sunday introduced more measures to contain the disease after registering nine cases of local transmission the day before.

“The testing in Beijing is robust and is reliable. It is the same type of PCR test that is used the world over.” Dr Brian McCloskey, chair of the Beijing 2022 Medical Expert Panel said

“For the Games, the test is set at a very sensitive level because what we want to achieve is not to get Omicron into the closed-loop system.

“Extra reagents and different gene targets have been brought in to ensure that, although we set it very sensitively, we can increase the specificity to exclude false positives.” he added.

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