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Wuhan Marathon postponed after Covid-19 surge

Beijing

China reported 26 new domestic Covid-19 instances on Sunday, in an outbreak that has become latest test of the country’s zero-tolerance method with just over a hundred days until the start of the Games.

Authorities have been racing to include virus infections via mass testing of residents and centered lockdowns.

But with the rise in cases, organisers of the Wuhan Marathon said in a statement released late last week that they would put off Sunday’s event in the central Chinese city “to prevent the risk of epidemic spread”.

The event used to be expected to have 26,000 participants, taking part in races such as a full marathon and half marathon, in the city where coronavirus used to be first identified towards the end of 2019, state media reported.

The organising committee stated it would refund the registration fees of contestants who successfully signed up.

China has wrestled down the number of infections to a trickle by deploying aggressive, mass testing and preserving its borders extremely tight.

It remained unclear if next Sunday’s 40th edition of the Beijing marathon would go beforehand as planned

Beijing will on Wednesday mark 100 days to go before the Winter Olympics, beginning February 4, with organisers admitting before this month they “face great pressure” because of Covid-19.

The Games should be the most restricted mass sporting tournament since the pandemic began, with no global spectators allowed and a vaccine mandate for anyone entering a strictly enforced “bubble”.

Athletes have to be vaccinated or face 21-day quarantine upon entry to China.

Ahead of the Winter Olympics, Beijing has started to offer residents booster jabs for the coronavirus.

The brand new outbreak used to be linked to an elderly couple who have been in a team of several tourists.

They commenced in Shanghai before flying to Xi’an, Gansu province and Inner Mongolia.

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