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Jan. 15, 2022, 3:15 p.m. EST

Clap, don’t chant: China aims for ‘Zero COVID’ Olympics

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Athletes can request fitness equipment for training.

People with no symptoms can leave isolation after two days of negative tests. Organizers say those testing positive will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but it might still be too late for athletes to compete.

As a general rule, organizers say the panel will review those who keep testing positive for more than 14 days.

Those who test positive and have symptoms have to go into isolation in a hospital. They’ll also need to two days of negative tests to be let loose, as well as three days of normal temperatures and symptoms subsiding.

Organizers have said athletes who recover after testing positive ahead of the Games will also be assessed on a case-by-case basis in a “more flexible manner.”

WILL THERE BE FANS? Spectators from overseas won’t be allowed. As for local fans, Beijing organizers say they’re finalizing rules for their attendance.

It’s not clear how the recent outbreaks around China will factor into the decisions. But organizers of the Tokyo Games had also planned to allow some domestic fans, before scrapping the idea because a surge in local cases. The result was surreal scenes of athletes competing in empty stadiums.

Even if some fans are allowed in Beijing, their presence will be muted. Everyone is being asked to clap instead of shouting or singing, as had been the plan in Tokyo.

CAN IT WORK? Despite the omicron-fueled surge hitting many parts of the world including China, organizers may still be able to pull off the Olympics without as much disruption as some fear.

Olympic athletes are highly motivated to avoid infection so they can compete, noted Dr. Sandro Galea, a public health expert at Boston University. And even if it’s harder with omicron, he noted it’s no mystery what people need to do to avoid infection — take prevention measures, such as limiting exposure to others.

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