• The Asian Games in Hangzhou have been postponed until 2023, according to the Asian Olympic Council

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    Digital Desk: The Asian Games scheduled for September in Hangzhou have been postponed indefinitely, according to organizers, as China confronts a rise of Covid cases. Although no reason was given for the delay, China is hurrying to put an end to its largest Covid-19 epidemic since the pandemic began.

    "The Olympic Council of Asia has declared that the 19th Asian Games, which were initially slated to take place in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25, 2022, will be postponed," according to a statement on the official Games website, which was first reported by Chinese state media.

    The replacement sporting event dates "will be revealed at a later date," according to the statement.

    Hangzhou, the host city, is fewer than 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Shanghai, the country's largest city, which has been shut down for weeks as part of the ruling Communist Party's zero-tolerance attitude to the virus.

    Last month, organizers announced that 56 competition venues for the Asian Games and Asian Para Games had been completed in Hangzhou, a city of 12 million people in eastern China.

    They said at the time that the activities would be hosted under a virus control plan that "learns from the successful experience" of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which took place in a Covid-secure bubble in February.

    After Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010, Hangzhou was set to host the continental competition for the third time.

    China has steadfastly maintained a zero-Covid policy, implementing stringent lockdowns, quarantines, and mass testing programmes even as other countries begin to reopen as the pandemic threat fades.

    The plan has been hailed by the administration as proof that it prioritizes human life over material interests and can prevent the public health catastrophes that have plagued many Western countries.

    Despite a mounting public outcry, top authorities pledged again on Thursday to "unwaveringly stick" to zero-Covid and "resolutely resist" criticism of the policy.

    Anger is especially high in Shanghai, where 25 million people have been subjected to a patchwork of lock downs since March, citing overzealous lockdowns and spartan quarantine conditions.


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