Despite Omicron scare, China says the Olympics will go on as scheduled

China: Despite challenges created by the detection of the novel Omicron coronavirus variant, China plans to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics "smoothly" and on schedule, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular daily briefing on Tuesday.

"I believe it will undoubtedly present a challenge to our efforts to prevent and control the virus," Zhao said. "However, given China's expertise in preventing and managing the coronavirus, I am certain that China will be able to hold the Winter Olympics on time, smoothly, and successfully." The Games will be held in Beijing from February 4 to February 20, with no foreign spectators and all participants and related personnel contained in a "closed-loop" and subjected to daily COVID-19 testing.

China has some of the harshest COVID-19 preventive measures in the world thanks to its "zero-COVID" policy.

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