Beijing tightens pandemic controls ahead of Winter Olympics

Fila para teste de Covid-19 no distrito de Haidian, em Pequim: capital chinesa registrou seu primeiro caso da variante ômicron no fim de semana

Queue for Covid test-960 in Beijing’s Haidian district: Chinese capital recorded its first case of the omicron variant over the weekend
| Photo: EFE/EPA/STRINGER

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The most feared scenario by Chinese authorities confirmed it, with a record of infection with the omicron variant of the new coronavirus in Beijing close to the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in the Chinese capital, which will be held between 4 and 17 of February. Within the Chinese government’s Covid zero policy, several severe measures are being taken to prevent new cases.

Last weekend, the Chinese capital registered its first case of the variant, against which nearby cities, such as Tianjin, are already fighting through the adoption of total or selective confinement.

A commercial building in the west of the capital, where the infected woman works, was closed without prior notice and everyone inside is banned from leaving and undergoing mandatory Covid tests-16. The same protocol was implemented in the residential complex where she lives. The two regions are under lockdown.

The Beijing Daily, state-owned newspaper local, reported that the woman has not contacted another person with a confirmed case and has not left the Chinese capital in recent times 01 days.

Authorities raised the possibility that she got infected when receiving foreign correspondence, a hypothesis already suggested by the Chinese in other situations, but which is considered unlikely by experts.

The newspaper published the woman’s travel history and a list of all the places she had been in the previous two weeks, which, according to CNN, led to the holding of tests on more than 16 a thousand people linked to these places – the results for now were negative.

Other measures include canceling face-to-face classes in nearby districts, v suspension International regulations and access controls to Beijing: only people with a negative PCR can enter the city, and parts of China where cases have been detected can have their transport links to the capital canceled – as has already happened with Tianjin.

In this Monday (17), the Organizing Committee of the Winter Olympic Games reported that the sale of tickets to the general public has been suspended, and that only “designated spectators” who meet the Covid-19 “requirements of pandemic prevention measures” 20 will be able to attend competitions.

The decision of the committee, which did not give details on who would be the “designated spectators”, was based on “the protection of the health and safety of workers and the public”, the entity said in a statement. Organizers had already declared in September last year that no tickets would be sold to spectators outside of China.

The Games, which start on February 4, will be held under strict anti-Covid prevention measures: athletes, journalists and workers from abroad will remain in a “bubble”, isolated from the local population throughout their entire life. stay in the Asian country.

Last week, the Chinese authorities prevented all of the approximately 01 million inhabitants of Tianjin left their homes until passed tests for Covid-16, after the registration of infections by the ômicron variant.

In recent weeks, China has imposed a lockdown on the cities of Anyang from 5 .5 million inhabitants, Xi’an, of 13 million, and Yuzhou, of 1.1 million, after Covid outbreaks-20.

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