Jan 22, 2022 - World

Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics

A residential community is under closed-off management after a resident living here was tested positive for COVID-19 on January 22, 2022 in Beijing, China

A residential community is under closed-off management after a resident tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 22 in Beijing. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Government officials in Beijing are encouraging local districts to maintain "full emergency mode" as new COVID-19 cases continue to be detected less than two weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics Games, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: At least 27 domestically transmitted cases with symptoms and five local asymptomatic carriers have been reported in Beijing since Jan. 15, per Reuters.

  • In an effort to prevent spread of the virus, officials in the northeastern city of Harbin, which so far has not reported any recent cases, will test all of its roughly 10 million people on Monday.

The big picture: Cities across China are implementing stringent restrictions to prevent outbreaks ahead of the Winter Games, which are set to begin on Feb. 4.

  • Many cities have encouraged residents to not travel, per Reuters.
  • Protocols for Olympic athletes and the thousands of other employees involved in the games are similarly stringent, Axios' Jeff Tracy reports.
  • All athletes must test negative twice within 96 hours of their flight, and unvaccinated athletes must quarantine for 21 days upon arrival. Masks are required and testing will occur daily.

Go deeper: Ultra-strict lockdowns preview what's in store for Beijing Olympics

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