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China testing 3.5 million Beijing residents after Covid outbreak days after easing rules on nightlife

Business Insider US
Beijing only just lifted COVID restrictions last week.
  • Beijing is testing millions for Covid-19 after an outbreak at a 24-hour bar, Reuters reported.
  • Around 10,000 close contacts of people who visited the bar have been locked down at home, it added.
  • The outbreak occurred soon after Beijing lifted social distancing rules last week.
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3.5 million residents of China's capital Beijing are being tested for Covid-19, after 200 new cases linked to a 24-hour bar and liquor store emerged, according to Reuters

The new Covid-19 cases have been linked to Heaven Supermarket Bar, a popular nightlife venue and liquor supermarket in the central Beijing district of Chaoyang. Residents of Chaoyang now face mandatory testing.

As well as millions of tests, Beijing has locked down the homes of around 10,000 close contacts of people who attended the bar in recent days.

Several employees have been locked into the venue for at least two days to isolate from others and to undergo testing, Reuters said.

Local authorities described the outbreak as "ferocious" and "explosive" and have halted Chaoyang's plans for schools reopening.

Last week, Beijing eased its social distancing rules to allow dine-in service at restaurants and bars. The country's persistence with a strategy of 'zero Covid' has resulted in extended, strict lockdowns in megacities such as Shanghai, whose months-long lockdown also eased this month.

The extended lockdown sparked protests and slowed down economic activity in one of the world's busiest ports, hitting an already strained global supply chain.

Millions of residents of Shanghai, a commercial epicenter of China, were again placed under strict lockdown measures over the weekend, after a cluster was linked to a popular beauty salon, according to a Reuters report

The nation of 1.4 billion people has recorded around 14,000 Covid deaths, per Johns Hopkins University data.



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