BEIJING (Xinhua) — Officials said 32 athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 and are being held in isolation facilities inside the Olympic bubble. According to authorities who talked to the media on Tuesday, the athletes are spending an average of seven days in isolation.
Coronavirus infections are unlikely to emerge from inside the bubble, according to Brian McCloskey, head of the Beijing 2022 medical expert council, and other members. This is due to the use of masks and immunized people.
“We are now seeing more individuals emerge from isolation than those who are entering it. People who have already been infected might be released early since they are no longer contagious “he said, “We like it, but it doesn’t mean we’re happy with it since coronavirus is never pleasant.”
Between Jan. 23 and Feb. 7, the IOC reported 393 positive coronavirus cases from tests performed at Beijing Capital International Airport and within the closed-loop system.
Athletes in isolation have complained about major challenges with food, internet access, and access to training equipment, all of which authorities claim have been addressed immediately.
“Isolation is bad for everyone. Isolation may turn out to be one of COVID’s long-term consequences for individuals all across the globe “According to McCloskey. “I understand the frustration, worry, and disappointment that (athletes) have after putting in so much effort.”
“In the interim, we will do our utmost to care about those who are isolated,” he continued.
Vincent Zhou, a figure skater from the United States, is the most recent athlete to test positive for COVID-19. His lawsuit means the end of his Olympic bid for 2022.
After landing in Beijing, Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans tested positive for COVID-19. Meylemans broke down in tears as she revealed the news of her condition on Instagram, which eventually made headlines.
Meylemans has already said that she tested positive for the coronavirus before traveling to China. She said she had recovered and was able to present negative test results, which were necessary for entry into Beijing.
Her positive findings in the bubble, she thinks, are due to the very sensitive PCR testing that identifies viral antibodies. COVID-19 infected people might test positive for many days after they have recovered and are no longer contagious.
According to McCloskey, a false positive is feasible. However, it is possible that a person may get re-infected while in the Olympics bubble, presenting a danger to other competitors.
“It’s difficult to tell the difference between the two,” he remarked.
At the Olympics, he added, a team of other specialists is reviewing test results patterns to establish the risk factor and the likelihood for a person who tested positive to really be infectious.
This might result in authorities being unable to clear an athlete before a competition.
“Unfortunately, this is a very large and sophisticated system, and our approach has sometimes gone awry. We’re aware that things haven’t always gone as smoothly as they should have “he said “However, in general, individuals have the opportunity to be examined at a time that is convenient for their competition preparation.”
Officials from the Olympics think that the closed-loop is still the safest option at this time.
“I believe you have a lower likelihood of picking up COVID in the closed-loop than everywhere else on the planet,” McCloskey said.