IMAGE: @Beijing 2022_Twitter/PIXABAY
Keeping an eye on the Beijing 2022 Olympics, China is gearing up to open international borders to allow the safe arrival of the Winter Olympics participants next February. Olympics authorities informed that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics organisers attended the Tokyo Olympics to take valuable lessons and understand strategies to deal with COVID-19, China daily reported. The Winter Olympics will be the first time Beijing will open its borders to allow international travel. Even though China fared pretty well towards the end of the first wave, the country reported maximum Covid-related deaths during the emergence of the highly contagious Delta strain.
As per reports, a 34 member team of the Beijing Organising Committee was present at the Tokyo Summer Games to gather firsthand knowledge on the strategic planning of the Japanese counterparts. The members were a part of the International Olympic Committee's observer program. The delegation observed and studied the technical and operational challenges of staging the world's biggest sporting event during a pandemic, China Daily reported.
To ensure the complete safety of international athletes, China has constructed effective COVID-19 containment and developed high-accuracy contact-tracing measures of its own, the reports mentioned. The organising committee has also drawn up strict in-house protocols to maintain complete safety at competition venues and media facilities. The fresh measures drafted based on Tokyo's strategic planning will serve as critical additions to Beijing's traditional protocols at the Winter Games, the organisers told China Daily.
🌟Organisers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have taken valuable lessons from Tokyo's successful hosting of the Summer Games. 📹🎊They are now busy finalising details of the opening ceremony and training volunteers. Learn more at ➡️https://t.co/hYLS4A6f2z pic.twitter.com/aOULaVtN3T— Beijing 2022 (@Beijing2022) August 18, 2021
The organisers also plan to control entry and exit to the Olympic city. If necessary, they will suspend all travel links from high-risk areas, BBC reported. Additionally, the travellers from medium-risk zones will have to undergo COVID-19 tests to ensure no loophole. The measures come as the country continues to curb the Covid-19 cases that shot up after the delta variant made its way into the Asian nation through the Nanjing airport.
The organising committee has planned to release the final draft after September, BBC mentioned. Contrary to the Tokyo Olympics, the Chinese government plans to allow spectators at the event, Beijing-based Canadian sports specialist and Olympics game-planning advisor Justin Downes told the BBC. With only six months to the final event, organisers are now focused on chalking plans for the opening event. As per China Daily, 12 venues have been completely tested and prepared, while the rest will be prepared by December.
Meanwhile, the Winter Olympics is facing sharp criticism amidst the growing calls for the safety and protection of minorities in China. Activists worldwide are calling on governments to boycott Beijing 2022 Olympics as a gesture to acknowledge Beijing’s massive human rights violations of Uighur Muslims, ANI reported. On July 11, the East Turkistan Association of Canada launched a 15 day long ‘Walking protest’ to raise awareness about the ongoing Uyghur genocide in East Turkistan (Xinjiang in China). "For this Freedom March, I want to ask the Canadian government, firstly, the Canadian government to officially recognize Uyghur issue as genocide and secondly, call for the boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games due to the ethical implications of China hosting the event while committing genocide", Bilal Malik, a member of the organisation asserted.