A recent report released by the organizing committee of the Winter Olympics held in Beijing stated more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. The total number of cases related to the Beijing 2022 Winter Games has now reached 250, making it an almost alarming situation as the ceremony nears its opening date.

“From 00:00 to 23:59, 30 January, 2022, 1,252 Olympic-related arrivals entered China at the airport, including 622 athletes and team officials and 630 other stakeholders. They took the airport PCR tests. After confirmatory tests, 28 confirmed positive cases had been notified, eight of them are from athletes and team officials, and 20 of them are from other stakeholders,” the report claimed at the Winter Olympics website. 

This has occurred despite the “closed-loop system” maintained by officials associated with the Games in order to keep the participants and organizers away from the general public within the city. The opening ceremony of the event is still set to be on Friday, greenlighting the games beginning from Wednesday.

The report also mentioned, “In the closed loop during the same time, 62,928 PCR tests had been taken, 2,502 by athletes and team officials and 60,426 by other stakeholders. After confirmatory tests, nine confirmed positive cases had been notified, four of them are from athletes and team officials, and five of them are from other stakeholders.”

The strict restrictions and protocol have been unable to keep the positivity rate low, even though the medical expert chair at the event agreed that cases are bound to be high at this moment due to flights bringing participants in for the games. The rules and restrictions at the Winter Olympics are meant to reflect the enhanced threat of transmission after the Omicron variant. Russian biathlete Vasnetsova, who tested positive twice after arriving at the Beijing airport, along with two other Russian citizens, said, “Unfortunately, my Olympic dream will remain just a dream. Maybe one day I will find the strength to rise again but it will be a completely different story.”