Sunday, December 3, 2023

Beijing Olympics At Covid Hotspot: Can China Be Trusted?

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China is gearing up to kickstart Beijing Winter Olympics from February 4. Ahead of the games, Chinese cities are reporting a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases. On Friday, China reported 104 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, of which 52 were reported in Henan, 39 in Tianjin, eight in Guangdong, four in Shaanxi, and one in Zhejiang.  

Meanwhile, South China’s Zhuhai became the second Chinese city after Tianjin to report the Omicron variant. Earlier, South China’s Zhuhai in Guangdong Province reported seven locally-transmitted Omicron cases. 

China claims to put in strict measures to control the spread of Covid-19 cases in the Winter Olympics. Some of these measures include barring foreign spectators, maintaining Olympic bubble by keeping media, athletes and observers in three distinct bubbles, anyone entering these buddies must be fully vaccinated or spend 21 days in quarantine, Covid testing on daily basis, face masking at all time among many others.

While several countries have announced a diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics, the US is expected to ban all commercial flights to China from January 19 for at least two weeks. The scheduled flights have either been cancelled or are likely to be suspended because of Chinese aviation regulations, according to CNN Business research of government announcements and published flight schedules. Thus, the big question is can China really be trusted to hold Beijing Winter Olympics, especially as it witnesses a surge in Covid-19 cases?

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