Wednesday, May 18

JO-2022: IOC calls on participants to be “extremely vigilant”

(Belga) The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday called on participants in the Beijing Games (February 4-20) to “be extremely vigilant”, while the current wave of Covid-19 could prevent some qualified from flying to China .

In a closed-door meeting with National Olympic Committees, Games organizers and international federations, the Olympic body brushed aside any prospect of postponement, assuring that everything was “on track for safe Games.” , according to a statement. But faced with the rapid spread of the Delta and Omicron variants of the coronavirus, “we must do everything so that the athletes are not deprived of their Olympic dream a few days before their departure”, underlined the boss of the organization, Thomas Bach. The IOC therefore called on “all participants in the Games” to “exercise extreme vigilance”, by following “from now” the anti-Covid instructions grouped together in manuals, which recommend in particular to limit “to the strict minimum” physical interactions. The recent wave of positive cases on the women’s alpine ski circuit, yet an outdoor sport that runs under a “bubble” for the second season in a row, has reminded us of the risk of cascading contaminations even among vaccinated athletes. “We can’t keep the sanitary bubbles, we meet a lot of people, our hotels are also open to tourists, it lacks consistency. Strict compliance with the bubbles would seem more judicious to me,” lamented the slalomer Clément Noël on Wednesday. from AFP. “There are so many cases of Covid-19 that we are afraid that it will fall on us at some point, even if we are super careful,” added the French, who however does not consider “at all” to miss a World Cup stage as January brings together the classics of the world circuit. As during the Tokyo Games, in the summer of 2021, the IOC must find a balance between health security and sporting equity, and therefore limit the restrictions as much as possible: only those who are not vaccinated will undergo a quarantine of 21 days upon their arrival, while infected but asymptomatic athletes will be released from isolation as soon as they can present two negative PCR tests 24 hours apart. They will then join the “contact case management” system, which had proved decisive in Japan to limit the impact of the pandemic on the Games: tested twice a day, the athletes concerned will eat and travel separately, but ” will be able to continue to train and participate in competitions “. (Belga)

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