Beijing tightens COVID restrictions over bar cluster
Beijing started a new round of mass testing in its most populous downtown district on Monday after a rapidly spreading outbreak linked to a bar saw COVID-19 rules tightened again in the Chinese capital.
A night of partying by one Beijing resident last week led authorities to shutter nightlife venues in the downtown district of Chaoyang days after they reopened last Monday.
The resident, who did not get tested for 14 days, went to several bars and nightlife venues in Chaoyang in the days before and after developing a fever.
The outbreak stemming from the Heaven Supermarket bar has infected at least 183 people in 15 districts so far.
The cluster "arrived with ferocious momentum and the difficulty of prevention and control is huge," Beijing government spokesman Xu Hejian told reporters Sunday.
Chaoyang District – home to high-end shops, multinational firms and embassies – started a three-day testing drive for all its 3.5 million residents and sealed off several downtown residential compounds and malls over the weekend.
Beijing disease control officials said on Sunday that new cases linked to the bar cluster are still emerging.
All sporting events have been canceled, and a plan for most children to return to school Monday had already been scrapped.
Many bars that remain open are now imposing seating capacity limits.
Universal Resort in Beijing has also delayed its planned June 15 reopening.
China reported 143 new infections nationwide on Monday, with 51 in Beijing.