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Canada has five Covid cases in Winter Olympics team

Published : 29 Jan 2022 10:01 PM

Canada said five members of its Winter Olympics delegation in Beijing have tested positive for Covid-19.

The winter sports powerhouse has not said whether those concerned are athletes, support staff or officials.

"Currently five out of the 246 members of the Team Canada delegation in Beijing are in Covid-19 protocols," the Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement released late Friday.

"Part of our strategy was to arrive early to allow time for confirmation testing and, if necessary, the Medical Expert Panel process to unfold," it added.

Under the International Olympic Committee's rules, the positive cases are removed from the team and placed in quarantine.

Brian McCloskey, chair of the IOC's Medical Expert Panel, told a news conference in Beijing that the cases were not surprising.

"We expect the prevalence in Canadian athletes to be equal to the prevalence in the Canadian population at present, which is quite high," he said.

Canada is battling a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently in isolation after being exposed to the virus.

The Beijing Winter Olympics, which open on Friday, are taking place in a strict "closed loop" system to ensure competitors, officials and members of the media remain separate from the Chinese population.

A total of 23 positive Covid cases have been identified from 5,092 tests carried out on athletes or members of team delegations since January 26, according to figures from the local organisers.

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