Since the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 4, 118 COVID positive cases have been identified in the “closed-loop” for eight days in a row, rising to a total of 498 cases. Also, during the Winter Olympics, 23 Uyghur netizens were detained for commenting on Uyghur athletes whom the Winter Olympics officially arranged as torchbearers.

Due to the outbreak, inbound Olympic-related workers and linked staff were supervised in a closed-loop, entirely isolated from the society.

According to the Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, the total number of nucleic acid tests in the closed-loop was 71,184, including 6,500 for athletes and team officials and 64,684 for other stakeholders. Eight people were retested positively, including four athletes and team officials and four other stakeholders.

Since the Beijing Winter Olympics “bubble” began its trial run on Jan. 4, positive cases of Olympic-related personnel have been added every day. Seventy-two positive cases were found during the trial run from Jan. 4 to Jan. 22, 308 cases were found from the official run on Jan. 23 to Feb. 3 before the opening, and another 118 positive cases were found for eight consecutive days after the opening on Feb. 4, bringing the total number of positive cases to 498. 

Uighurs comment on Olympic torchbearers being punished

During the Winter Olympics, China strictly checked online speeches. 23 Uyghurs were detained for commenting on the Uyghurs arranged for the Winter Olympics as torchbearers.

Previously, a Xinjiang Uighur athlete Dinigeer Yilamujiang was chosen to be the torchbearer at the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Feb. 4. This arrangement immediately triggered a wave of condemnation.

German-based World Uyghur Congress Spokesperson, Dirishatiben told Radio Free Asia on the 10th that many young Uyghur netizens in Xinjiang, who reposted and commented on the torchbearer Dinigeer on WeChat, were quickly punished by the police.

Dirishatiben said, “According to local information, from Feb. 6 to 7, at least 23 Uyghur youths in Kashgar, Aksu, and Korla were administratively detained and financially punished by the Chinese police. The oldest is 21 years old, and the youngest is only 15 years old.” 

He added that some young people talked about China’s official arrangement of Uyghur Dinigeer as the Winter Olympics torchbearer and expressed their positions, which is a normal phenomenon in a civilized society.

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