Exclusive: Proper protocol ensures ‘easy, safe’ closed-loop life: IOC official
Published: Jan 20, 2022 10:41 PM
Pierre Ducrey Photo: VCG

Pierre Ducrey Photo: VCG

A senior official from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) praised the anti-epidemic work in the closed loop, saying that the IOC team is able to work very efficiently and the life is easy. A combination of measures such as frequent testing and mask mandatory in line with the Beijing 2022 Playbooks guarantees success. 

Pierre Ducrey, the IOC Olympic Games operations director, who arrived in Beijing more than two weeks ago, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday that in three days he will move to the gametime loop and will see more people arrive. 

"The life in the closed loop is actually very easy," he said, noting that taking the daily nucleic acid test is necessary and convenient. 

"I think everybody understands we live in a pandemic environment globally, we have to be extremely careful," Ducrey said. "There is no issue of not understanding why we need to be tested. The way to test is extremely convenient as well, very fast. It takes only a few minutes."  

Beijing aims to hold a streamlined, safe and splendid Winter Olympics. As the city has been battling both the Delta and ­Omicron variants ahead of the Games, local authorities have been urged to enhance the anti-epidemic work in the city and also among the ­Olympic-related staff. 

Besides daily testing, Ducrey said the body temperature check in different venues and wearing masks are also required. People have to respect physical distancing rules such as keeping a one-meter distance at all times and two meters from the athletes. 

"We ought to make sure that everything is being done and that those measures are combined, if we want to have a positive result at the end," he said. 

When asked if foreign athletes may encounter conflicts with the staff members due to the strict anti-epidemic measures, the IOC official said, "We don't expect any issues. 

"I think athletes at top level and officials and all of us working on the Games today are very much expecting to be tested and want to be tested, because that's how they can keep themselves safe and others."

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which come after the Summer Olympics in Tokyo last year, are seen as a testament that it's possible to have such massive gatherings under certain protocols despite the pandemic, the IOC official noted.  

"This is something that the WHO is looking at, because they are doing a lot of advice for mass gatherings and how to do that safely," he said, noting that it also shows to the world that international groups can join together in one place in a safe manner as long as there are right protocols in place. 

"If you do it right, there is no need to be only thinking about COVID-19. You just need to create the right environment," Ducrey said.