onsdag 27. oktober 2021

With 100 days until the Winter Olympics, Beijing races to control growing Covid outbreak

Wednesday marks the start of the 100-day countdown to the Beijing Winter Olympics, but not everyone is in the mood to celebrate, as officials instead race to suppress a widening outbreak of Covid-19. Come February, the Chinese capital will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics -- which is seen as a major point of pride for China. But it also faces ample challenges. In addition to growing calls for a boycott over China's crackdown on Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, the Winter Games also risk being overshadowed by the pandemic -- and China's uncompromising zero-Covid policy.

In 2008, the 100-day countdown to the Summer Games was marked by an anticipatory buzz across the capital -- with music performances, a big marathon relay around the Olympic Green and even church prayers. This time around, it appears to be a much more muted affair, with much of the city bunkering down amid a new wave of coronavirus infections.