BEIJING: A total of 21 new COVID-19 infections were found among Olympic Games-related personnel on Feb. 3, down from 55 a day earlier, Games organisers said ahead of Friday's opening ceremony.

Hours before the Winter Olympics officially get under way, the total number of confirmed cases among Games participants since Jan. 23 was 308, among them six unnamed athletes of the German Olympic team, who tested positive after their arrival on Thursday.

They have now gone into isolation and are undergoing further PCR tests, the German team said.

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An Australian athlete and an official also had to follow COVID-19 protocols after they were deemed close contacts, team chief Geoff Lipshut said on Friday.

Athletes considered close contacts are isolated from the rest of the team but can continue training alone ahead of their competitions.

Participants in Beijing are confined to a "closed loop" in order to prevent contact with the general public, moving between accommodation and Olympic venues on official transport.

Every Games participant is also tested on a daily basis in an effort to identify any infections within the loop quickly.

In contrast to many countries seeking to live with COVID-19, China has adopted a zero-tolerance policy, which has involved strict border controls and cancelling nearly all international flights.

All Olympic participants are arriving on charter flights.


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