The Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee on Sept 29 presented key COVID-19 countermeasures to the International Olympic Committee Executive Board meeting chaired by President Thomas Bach, in the presence of the International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons.
According to the organizers, all athletes and games participants who are fully vaccinated will enter a closed-loop management system upon arrival. Games participants who are not fully vaccinated will have to serve a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in Beijing.
The closed-loop management system, to be implemented from Jan 23, 2022, until the end of the Paralympics on March 13, will cover all games-related areas. A dedicated games transport system will be put in place.
All domestic and international Games participants and workforce in the closed-loop management system will be subject to daily testing.
Beijing 2022 organizers made it clear that tickets will be sold exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland who meet the requirements of COVID-19 countermeasures.
Also on Sept 29, China published a chronicle of its work that facilitated a mission organized by the World Health Organization to study the origins of the novel coronavirus, offering a detailed look at the open and transparent way it was conducted.
The chronicle starts in July last year, when the WHO and China began laying the groundwork for deepening understanding of the novel coronavirus’ origins and reached an agreement on an initial phase of the study in Wuhan, Hubei province.
It ends in late March, after a joint report was released to the public and international and Chinese members of the team held briefings about the investigation results.
While devoting great efforts to reining in local outbreaks, China twice invited international experts to conduct origin-tracing studies, according to the chronicle. The visits to Wuhan were facilitated in a scientific, open, transparent and cooperative manner.
A number of online and offline meetings were held between foreign and Chinese experts to exchange available information and come up with a final working plan for on-site activities in Wuhan, it said.
The joint team’s trip to Wuhan covered a number of key facilities, including the hospital that first reported a patient with a mysterious pneumonia-like disease and a local infectious diseases hospital that treated a large number of patients severely ill with COVID-19.
The panel also went to the Huanan seafood market, local disease control and prevention centers, a provincial-level animal disease control institution, the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Wuhan Institute of Virology, a blood donation center and some neighborhoods.
Liang Wannian, head of the Chinese experts on the team, said that foreign counterparts visited all the places they wanted to visit and talked to all the people they hoped to meet.
The new document says that at every single venue they visited, the foreign experts had opportunities to communicate with or interview people, ranging from market vendors and community residents to CDC workers and virologists.
In particular, the chronicle revealed the extensive discussions that the team had with staff members at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the venue at the center of the so-called laboratory leak conspiracy theory.
Shi Zhengli, a leading virologist at the institute, gave “an extensive scientific report” on her team’s work on coronaviruses circulating in bats.
Wang Yanyi, director of the institute, also discussed with international experts issues related to the lab and clarified concerns on its safety protocols, the chronicle said.
Scientists in China and abroad have called for a halt to the politicization of the virus’ origins and for enhanced global collaboration to probe earlier traces of infections connected to the virus around the world.
Xinhua contributed to this report.
HONG KONG NEWS