China

Olympic torch relay to last just 3 days

China is limiting the torch relay for the Winter Olympic Games to just three days amid coronavirus worries, organisers said Friday.

The flame will be displayed only in enclosed venues that are deemed “safe and controllable,” according to officials speaking at a news conference.

No public transit routes would be disturbed and normal life would continue for the 20 million residents of Beijing, where a handful of new Covid-19 cases have been recorded over recent days.

Beijing’s Deputy Sports Director Yang Haibin said safety was the “top priority,” with the pandemic, venue preparations and the possibility of forest fires in the city's cold, dry climate all factored in.

The relay will run February 2-4, taking in the three competition areas of downtown Beijing, the suburb of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou in the neighbouring province of Hebei.

Participants in the torch rally will undergo health screens and be carefully monitored, starting from two weeks before the event begins, said Xu Zhijun, deputy head of the organising committee. (AP)

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