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Organizing officials for the 2022 Winter Olympics said Tuesday the Games’ host city, Beijing, has no plans to lock down any sections of the capital to prevent the spread of the Chinese coronavirus during the event — scheduled to take place from February 4 through February 20 — despite mounting lockdowns in surrounding areas.
“Beijing won’t need to be sealed off for the Games next month,” Huang Chun, who leads the 2022 Winter Olympics’ coronavirus prevention efforts, told reporters on January 11, adding that a lockdown order for either Beijing or its surrounding province of Hebei remains “off the table” for now.
“The overall situation remains under control,” he said of Beijing’s current coronavirus caseload.
Huang suggested preliminary efforts by the 2022 Winter Olympics organizing committee to create a coronavirus-free “bubble” for all athletes and personnel participating in the Games had helped contribute to an allegedly stable coronavirus situation in the Chinese national capital. The committee launched a”closed-loop” management system that physically separates Olympics participants from Beijing’s greater population on January 4. Hua said the preparatory conditions created by the system so far were “working well” as of January 11.
While Beijing claims to have no plans to lock down its population during the Winter Games, regions directly bordering the city and its surrounding province, Hebei, have imposed movement restrictions on their inhabitants in recent days to curb local coronavirus outbreaks and prevent them from spreading to Beijing. Chinese Communist Party officials in charge of Tianjin, a port city neighboring Beijing to its southeast, banned all travel out of the municipality on the evening of January 9.
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