Beijing 2022: Pandemic prevention official explains 'closed-loop management'
Updated 19:15, 04-Jan-2022
Dong Xue

Thirty days before the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the organizing committee has announced updated pandemic prevention guidelines. CGTN's Dong Xue sat down with Huang Chun, the deputy director of the organizing committee's pandemic prevention office, to learn how China will guarantee a safe Olympic Games.

CGTN: This is the first Winter Olympics under the COVID-19 pandemic. What kind of virus prevention measures are in place ahead of the Games?

Huang Chun: In addition to strictly following COVID-19 pandemic prevention measures, including vaccination, closed-loop management, testing, and remote prevention and control measures, we have also drawn up corresponding countermeasures for winter respiratory infections. People have to wear masks at all times, maintain social distancing, wash hands, disinfect and ventilate regularly. Temperatures will be monitored at least twice a day. In addition to the symptoms associated with COVID-19, we're also monitoring diarrhea, coughs and even jaundice, rash and so on.

CGTN: What are the requirements for Olympic-related personnel to enter China? What kind of health monitoring measures will be taken upon their arrival?

Huang: Full vaccination is mandatory 14 days before entry, and a booster shot is strongly recommended. At the same time, there is the DongAoTong app, a health monitoring system, which collects reports of any symptoms related to COVID-19 every day.

There are two PCR tests to be taken six hours before the flight to enter China; each of the tests should be conducted 24 hours apart.

People who have previously been infected, especially infected within 30 days before entering China, must take two extra tests, 24 hours apart, which means in total there are four tests to be done. If all the tests are negative, they can board the plane and come to China. 

CGTN: Tell us how closed-loop management works in competition areas. Will COVID-19 tests be timely and convenient?

Huang: Closed-loop management is the core measure of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The bigger closed loop refers to three clusters: Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou cluster.

The smaller closed loop refers to sports venues, residences, workplaces and the media center within each cluster. For example, there are different channels for athletes, press, officials and spectators.

We'll have designated buses for these closed loops running between these venues, sites and workplaces. Inside the closed loop, there are shops, beauty salons, gyms and cafeterias to serve people's needs.

We provide testing services from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Samples taken from 6 a.m. to 12 noon will have feedback by 8 p.m. Samples taken between 12 noon and 11 p.m. will have results by 6 a.m. the next day. It's very convenient and timely.

CGTN: When it comes to protecting athletes, staff and spectators, what's the biggest challenge of pandemic control?

Huang: We have formulated a series of prevention and control measures in accordance with China's overall prevention and control policies. For example, the six principles include closed-loop management, PCR testing, testing and tracking, maintaining hygiene and reduced exposure.

Five non-occurrence targets were proposed to ensure no large-scale aggregation of people involved in the Winter Olympics: no interruption of the Games due to inadequate pandemic prevention and control, no ongoing secondary infections among our domestic staff or other service providers, no spreading to city level or communities, no other public emergencies, such as a public health event caused by respiratory infections caused by influenza, food contamination, food safety, food poisoning, drinking water contamination and so on.

The six principles and five non-occurrences outlined in the Playbooks are our highest standards and requirements, as well as the biggest challenges we face.

CGTN: The NHL canceled their trip to Beijing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Will China adjust its pandemic policy accordingly to make it easier for foreign athletes to come?

Huang: Due to the pandemic, the NHL canceled many other international matches since many of its players were infected. We regret that but it's understandable. Maybe they didn't fully understand our pandemic prevention protocols, but the policies were made under the suggestions of the IOC, also a collective wisdom of other experts. Unless there is a large-scale cluster spreading, and a large number of infections among athletes or closed contacts, we will work with the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the International Winter Sports Federations to make adjustments.

Search Trends