China’s capital city of Beijing began to test millions of residents on Monday (June 13) and shut down entertainment venues in its largest district in efforts to contain a new COVID-19 outbreak.
Nearly 200 cases have been linked to the Chaoyang Heaven Supermarket Bar, a 24-hour establishment known for its cheap liquor and big crowds. The city’s Chaoyang district kicked off a three-day mass testing campaign among its roughly 3.5 million residents on Monday. About 10,000 close contacts of the bar’s patrons have been identified, and their residential buildings put under lockdown, and some planned school reopenings in the district have been postponed.
Local residents said they were coping. Education industry worker Jing Hao works from home on most days, but said the reinstatement of restrictions meant less opportunities for socialising.
Beijing authorities have described the outbreak as “ferocious” and “explosive”. The city only eased widespread COVID curbs last week, allowing some businesses and dine-in services to resume.