BEIJING (AP) – Athletes and team officials are testing positive for COVID-19 at much higher rates than other people arriving in China for the Beijing Olympics, organisers said yesterday.
Figures released by local organisers showed 16 of 379 athletes and officials who arrived on Monday tested positive for COVID-19.
They have been taken into isolation hotels to limit the spread of the infection and could miss their events.
The positive test rate of 4.2 per cent for athletes and officials compared to 0.66 per cent for Olympic ‘stakeholders’, a group which includes workers and media. Only seven of 1,059 people in that category arriving at Beijing were positive in similar tests on Monday.
The rates were confirmed in PCR and other follow-up tests for tens of thousands of people at the Beijing Olympics who will live, work and train in closed-off communities separated from the general public.
The Chinese government is pursuing a zero-tolerance public health strategy.
On Monday, the rate of infection from tests of those already inside the Olympic bubbles was 100 times higher for athletes and officials compared to workers. Five of 3,103 tests from the athletes-officials group were positive compared to only one of more than 60,000 daily tests from ‘stakeholders’.
A total of 200 positive tests for COVID-19 have now been recorded at the Olympics since January 23.
Of those 200, 67 were athletes and officials. ‘Stakeholders’ accounted for the other 133.
Among the athletes testing positive in Beijing is Hong Kong skier Audrey King, who arrived from a training camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina.