Norwegians concerned about COVID information leaks

A security guard wearing a mask and a shield as protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) opens a gate at a hotel inside the closed loop at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, February 1, 2022. REUTERS / Thomas Peter

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ZHANGJIAKOU, China, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Local organizers need to tighten up the handling of health information after a hotel manager was told before the Norwegian team that two biathletes were possible close contacts of a COVID-19 case, Chef de Mission Tore Oevreboe said on Thursday.

Oevreboe told a news conference the team hotel was informed that Johannes Thingnes Boe and Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold had sat near a person who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 on their flight to China before he was.

“He (the hotel manager) is a decent guy, but he should not have had that information before us, it’s completely ‘Texas’,” Oevreboe said, using a Norwegian expression meaning “Wild West” or a free-for-all .

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“We got it a little later than we should, and that means we do not get the full and complete overview before we start with counter-measures,” Oevreboe said.

“We can not initiate measures based on rumors, which creates uncertainty. It’s not professional, and then we can not do our job properly. We want answers as soon as possible, so that we can initiate measures. We think (this was) too late. “

The Norwegian team suffered a number of positive tests among its cross-country skiers before departure for the Winter Gameswhere Norway is traditionally a superpower.

As potential close contacts, Thingnes Boe and Tandrevold are still allowed to train but must otherwise remain in their rooms, including during meals.

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Reporting by Philip O’Connor, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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