Ahead of Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, the chief of the Medical Expert Panel for the multi-sports event on Thursday, stressed the importance of keeping the virus under control even after the game ends. Citing the press conference of Dr Brian McCloskey, chief of the Beijing 2022 Medical Expert Panel, news agency Xinhua, said that the panel believes “it’s important to look at the story behind the current COVID-19 figures.”

During the presser, McCloskey said the country has a total of 232 positive cases of which 69 within the closed-loop. Further, he noted it is important to keep the virus under closed-loop in order to conduct a safe Olympics in the country and added that the cases remain low under the loop.

He also advocated for multiple tests centres as the Olympics would attract a lot of foreigners visiting the national capital, Beijing. Moreover, McCloskey went on to bolster China’s robust COVID policy and added that the country has very low cases as compared to other nations. “The reality is that every country in the world at the moment has a higher level of COVID [cases] than China does. So that means people coming in are travelling from the high level of COVID risk to a low level. When they start their journey in their own country, they have their pre-departure tests. Their risk of having a positive test is high based on the prevalence in their own country,” Xinhua quoted McCloskey as saying during the presser.

“When they get to the airport in Beijing, the risk of being positive is lower, because the pre-departure tests have identified the people who are positive and who might have been infectious travelling with them. So the risk of the airport is lower,” added chief of the Beijing 2022 Medical Expert Panel.

The risk of testing positive in a loop is still lower, noted McCloskey

“When they get inside the closed-loop, the chance of testing positive is still lower, because the airport testing has identified people who might before be infectious and has removed them from the system. So in the closed-loop, we start to see a low risk of being positive,” McCloskey noted. It is worth mentioning China is holding the Winter Olympics amid the COVID pandemic. As per the schedule, it will start on February 4 and will conclude on February 20. Several countries including, the US, Australia, UK and Canada have declared a diplomatic boycott of the Games.

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