— Published 19 November 2021

Three positive cases in pre-Olympic events

Worrying. With less than 80 days to go before the opening of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games (4 to 20 February), the Chinese authorities revealed on Thursday 18 November the existence of a new positive case of COVID-19 among athletes who have come to China in recent weeks for the pre-Olympic events. It concerns a luge athlete, whose identity has not been disclosed. He is reportedly asymptomatic but has been placed in isolation. Last weekend, Chinese authorities announced that two luge athletes of the same nationality had tested positive after arriving in the country. One of them was reportedly detected at the airport in early November. In itself, this is not a serious matter, as the Japanese organisers had experienced a similar scenario before the Tokyo 2020 Games, with several cases discovered in the Ugandan team. But unlike the Japanese, the Chinese organisers have imposed a vaccination – or a three-week quarantine – for all accredited participants in the Beijing Games. And their health protocol is even stricter than the one in place for the Tokyo 2020 Games.