The Olympics are undoubtedly a global event that attracts people from all over the world. However, apart from fans and athletes, there are another set of people that come in droves every four years to document the event.
Journalists and the Press are an integral part of the games that work behind the scenes to provide all the latest information and news to the general public. And it seems that China, the host country, has made special arrangements for them in order to enforce their ‘Covid-zero’ policy. (Source: NDTV)
Hi-tech sleeping pods have been made available for journalists working at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics media centre, the latest innovation to be unveiled at the Games pic.twitter.com/wrkFfjSdIW
— PA Media (@PA) February 7, 2022
Sleeping Pods: The Reason?
The host of the recent winter Olympics is China and although the country was ground zero for COVID-19, the state has not been taking lightly the responsibility of keeping its citizens safe. According to NDTV, the Asian giant has constructed a walled-off city to protect its people from any exterior Covid threat. Although there is unrestricted internet access and meals served by robots, there will be zero contact with people outside.
The Action and Reaction
According to The Times of India, high-tech cabins have been built by the Chinese government at the Beijing Olympics Media Center. These pods have been built to serve as a sort of relaxation space wherein journalists can sleep and even get a massage. The cabins are disinfected after each use and a spokesperson for Keeson International Corp. had the following to say:-
“We’ve placed sleeping cabins here for journalists to provide an environment to work, rest and relax. Our jobs during this period are to clean and disinfect the cabins regularly. We will also assist journalists in using them.”
However, some journalists were not too happy with the closed-loop. Guido Santavecchi, a reporter for Corriere Della Sera termed the cabins as a “psychiatric ward”. He also said that he would, “avoid entering there.”
Tokyo and Beijing: A comparison
According to NDTV, as of now, 435 people have tested positive for the virus including 142 people who are either national team members or players. The Tokyo Olympics on the other hand had only tolled a little over 100 cases. The difference in the amount is attributed to the more infectious Omicron variant that is plaguing the world.
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