Beijing makes new mass tests after covid outbreak in bar

Chinese authorities on Monday launched new mass tests in the most populous neighborhood of central Beijing, after an outbreak of covid-19 in a bar in the capital that led to the imposition, once again, of several restrictions.

The Chinese government applies a “covid zero” policy to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which entails quarantines for people positive for covid-19, confinements and mandatory PCR tests.

This policy requires significant logistical, human and economic resources, especially in view of the omicron variant, which rapidly spread across China in March and April. It started to lose strength in the last few weeks.

A few days after reopening its restaurants, bars and gyms, authorities in Beijing, where 22 million people live, recorded a new outbreak.

Authorities reported that last week, a resident went to several nightclubs in the central district of Chaoyang without presenting a valid PCR test, both before and after he had a fever.

This outbreak, linked to a specific bar, caused the contagion of at least 183 people.

As a result, authorities have again ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars in several neighborhoods, including Chaoyang. And it postponed the reopening of schools, scheduled to take place this Monday.

Today, the Chaoyang district, which is home to luxury stores, offices and embassies, has launched mass testing for its 3.5 million residents and millions of employees. Everyone will have to undergo three PCR tests in three days.

In Shanghai, more than half of its 25 million people had to take a mandatory test this weekend, less than two weeks after coming out of a long lockdown. The Chinese Ministry of Health announced 143 new cases of covid-19 in the last 24 hours in the country.

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