Medical Repatriation/Evacuation from the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games

The 2022 Winter Olympics, which started on the 4th of February, is currently being held in Beijing, China. For China, the opening ceremony was an opportunity to have exhibitions showcasing its culture. However, this time the focus is on something else: COVID-19. Instead of massive pyrotechnic displays, people are concerned about how China will deal with the coronavirus pandemic during the games.  

The Bubble system- How does it work? 

It comes as no surprise that China has left no stones unturned to prevent the spread of the virus. With the thousands of officials, athletes and journalists coming in, the country has designed a “closed-loop system”, a bubble, dedicated to the games and completely cut off from the rest of the city. Termed as the most ambitious quarantine ever, the bubble is housing approximately 60 000 people that are confined to their own areas for the duration of the Beijing Games. The bubble areas are built around sporting venues with their own hotels, conference centers, restaurants and other facilities so that there is no contact with the outside world at all

Covid-19 at the 2022 Beijing Games

As expected, with the flux of people coming into the country, there were bound to be positive cases of COVID-19. Before the games even started, Chinese authorities detected 308 positive cases among people seeking to enter the bubble. Two-thirds of them were from those who came via Beijing Capital International Airport. So, how is China dealing with the positive cases? 

coronavirus equipment

Strict measures against Covid-19 inside the bubble 

Besides cutting off everyone from the rest of the world, China has introduced strict sanitary measures to protect those inside the bubble from catching COVID-19 and to prevent the spread of the virus. Drinks are being served by robots, there are temperature-controlled sleep pods, constant cleaning, disposable bedsheets, floor-moving robots spraying disinfectant everywhere and other sanitary measures. Moreover, all those inside the bubble have to go through PCR deep-throat swab tests every day and record the results on a dedicated health app.

How are authorities dealing with Covid-19 positive patients?

Those who have been tested positive for Covid-19 are removed from the games and are placed in isolation. They will be released back into the bubble areas once they test negative. Athletes and game participants who test positive and are asymptomatic will be allowed back in the games if they have two consecutive negative PCR test results 24 hours apart. The bobsledder Elana Meyers, who was tested positive for COVID-19 said, “I am asymptomatic and currently at an isolation hotel — and yes I am completely isolated”. 

Medical treatment for sick, injured and Covid-19 positive people inside the bubble

While the bubble system is a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it might also pose a problem to those needing medical help. Sporting events of this caliber might involve serious injuries suffered by athletes and sometimes, these require immediate intervention. Let’s not forget COVID-19 infections and other illnesses that may happen to anyone. While arrangements must have been made for medical help, international visitors have to face several challenges, such as language barriers, not enough experienced staff to deal with international patients, a lack of expertise, inadequate understanding of how the system works and non-existent moral support from family and friends

Medical Repatriation by Medical Air Service available for those inside the bubble 

Faced with these challenges, sick and injured people inside the bubble may prefer to be treated by experienced doctors that they are acquainted with. In such, cases they can opt for Medical Repatriation/Evacuation back to either their home country or to a medical facility of their choice. Medical Air Service has made its air ambulances at the disposal of anyone inside the bubble who needs to get out of the bubble and fly back home. It has a wide range of air transportation options that cater to even Covid-19 positive patients. 

air ambulance

Why should you opt for a medical flight if you are in Beijing? 

If you are in the bubble in Beijing, you will not be able to benefit from the same level of medical care as you would back home. Being on your own, you might prefer to fly back home, to familiar surroundings to get treated. However, this might not be possible on a commercial flight. This might be because there are only special chartered flights that are dedicated to those visiting the Olympics getting in Beijing. Additionally, even if there were a commercial flight available, you might not be able to board one and fly on it safely in the following case scenarios:

  • If you have suffered from an injury and you cannot sit upright. Sometimes, a stretcher is allowed onboard commercial flights, but that would depend on the airline’s approval which might take time. 
  • If you are sick and you need constant medical supervision. A medical flight has both medical equipment and staff to care for you mid-air. 
  • If you tested positive for Covid-19. 

In these cases, air ambulances might be the only option via which you can travel back home. 

What about asymptomatic Covid-19 positive people inside the bubble? 

If you have tested positive for Covid-19, you will be placed in isolation. This means that you will not be allowed to go out and, consequently, not allowed onboard a plane. If you are asymptomatic but you want to get back home (after all, you might have missed your competition or you can no longer enjoy the games), Medical Air Service allows you to do so via a private jet. Transport can be arranged so that you are not in contact with others while going to the airport and you will travel alone in the passenger cabin of a private plane. There will be no crew onboard, except for the pilots in the cockpit, which means that you are abiding by all the regulations. Thus, you can fly back to your loved ones without any issue. 

Advantages offered by Medical Air Service

Why should you opt for the Medevac services of Medical Air Service? 

  • We have a team of experts who are available 24/7 to help you out and to arrange for a plane for you as quickly as possible, on the same or following day of the booking. 
  • We have a multilingual team who can communicate in almost all languages, so language barrier is not an issue. 
  • We offer several types of medical evacuation/repatriation services to cater to your needs and wishes. 
  • We operate anywhere across the globe
  • All of our air ambulances are equipped with the latest medical equipment
  • A medical crew will accompany the patient to ensure to provide care and treatment en-route if needed. 
  • We have isolation units to fly COVID-19 positive patients.

ambulance helicopter

How to book an air ambulance from Medical Air Service? 

  1. An air ambulance from Medical Air Service is just a phone call away. Get in touch with us and we will get back to you, free of charge. 
  2. This will be followed by an initial discussion of your situation, whereby our agents will take into consideration your case and provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation
  3. Proceeding forward, we would need the necessary paperwork, such as your passport etc. 
  4. A fit-to-travel assessment will determine your ability to travel. 
  5. After that, you just have to wait for your flight. 

Contact us at any time

If you are inside the bubble in Beijing and you want to get out of there, you need high-quality medical help in another country or you are stuck in isolation and you wish to get back home, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team is always available to listen to you, assist you and advise you on the best way to proceed. We even offer a free non-obligation quotation. Contact us: 

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