China converts Beijing Olympic villages to COVID isolation camps

  • Villages that housed athletes at the Beijing Winter Games used as COVID-19 quarantine camps.
  • Hundreds of people have been sent to Olympic villages after an outbreak in Beijing’s entertainment district.
  • The Olympic villages provide an ideal infrastructure for quarantine, the Financial Times reported.

China has turned Olympic villages built to house athletes during the Beijing Winter Games into COVID-19 quarantine camps, FinancialTimes reported.

In February, approximately 2,900 foreign athletes were accommodated in the “closed loop” compounds which are isolated from the rest of Beijing.

Now the three Olympic villages, with their “bubble infrastructure”, are proving to be ideal places to isolate those potentially infected with the virus, according to the FT.

Amid a spike in Omicron cases in March and April, China imposed full or partial shutdowns in dozens of cities, including strict measures in Shanghai that were only eased last month.

This week, Beijing experienced a new outbreak linked to a popular bar, the FinancialTimes reported, leading to the closure of public places and the reintroduction of mass testing.

At least 200 people have been infected and more than 6,000 have been forced into home quarantine, according to the newspaper.

Interior view of an athlete's apartment at the Beijing Winter Olympic Village in December 2022.

An interior view of the athlete’s apartment at the Beijing Winter Olympic Village.

VCG/Getty Images

Last month, local authorities bused hundreds of people who were close contacts of COVID-19 cases to the Chongli Olympic Village after Beijing’s most populous district ran out of beds at quarantine facilities. , reported the FT.

Sean, a Beijing resident in his 20s, told the newspaper he was sent to the village there after a tracking system discovered he had been to a convenience store also visited by someone with the disease of COVID-19.

“I was quarantined at home for six days and then they brought me here. I think I will have to stay here for seven days, but nobody gave me any details,” he said. declared.

Employees working in the Olympic Villages told the FT that the facilities had been converted into quarantine facilities, but did not reveal the number of people staying there.

Bathroom in the Beijing Olympic Village.

Bathroom in the Beijing Olympic Village.

VCG/Contributor/Getty Images

The new outbreak and closure of public places in Beijing came just days after they reopened after a month-long closure.

The strict restrictions, in line with China’s zero COVID strategy, have hit businesses, with experts warning the ripple effects have yet to be fully felt by the global economy.


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