Berliner Tageblatt - China readies Covid plan after Asian Games venues completed

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China readies Covid plan after Asian Games venues completed
China readies Covid plan after Asian Games venues completed / Photo: ©

China readies Covid plan after Asian Games venues completed

Competition venues for the Asian Games have been completed six months before the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou hosts athletes from across the region, organisers said Friday.

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The 19th edition of the regional sporting event is still on despite nearby Shanghai battling one of China's worst Covid-19 outbreaks since the pandemic began.

Organisers say a virus control plan that "learns from the successful experience" of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February will be published in the coming weeks.

All 56 competition venues for September's Asian Games and Asian Para Games have been completed, organisers added in a statement.

"Functional checks for the events have been finished," the statement said, adding several Games villages and over 30 training venues have also been built.

"We're now just making a few final adjustments and improvements to the facilities," Lu Chunjiang, an official in charge of operations at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre, told state broadcaster CCTV.

"Most of our energy is going towards preparatory work for venue operations."

Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China's Zhejiang province, will host the Games from 10-25 September.

The city of 12 million will become the third in China to host the continental competition after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.

Some events will be held in other provincial cities including Ningbo, Wenzhou, Huzhou, Shaoxing and Jinhua.

Hangzhou lies less than 200 kilometres (124 miles) from Shanghai, where an Omicron-fuelled outbreak in recent weeks has triggered partial lockdowns, panic-buying and transport chaos.

Organisers have provided few details of how they intend to hold the Games if China's strict zero-Covid policy remains unchanged.

But there are signs they may emulate Winter Olympics, where a Covid-secure bubble known as a "closed-loop" completely isolated participants from the general population.

Participants in a Para Games meeting this week also "explained in detail" disease control policies including "vaccination, remote prevention, health monitoring and closed-loop management", according to a separate statement.

J.Horn--BTB