Beijing's Chaoyang announces mass testing for Covid-19 amid 'fierce' outbreak

Beijing’s Chaoyang announces mass testing for Covid-19 amid ‘fierce’ outbreak

BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing’s most populous district, Chaoyang, announced three rounds of mass testing to contain a “ferocious” outbreak of Covid-19 that emerged in a bar in an area known for nightlife and shopping last week, shortly thereafter. after the city eased restrictions imposed in April.

Local health officials said so far there have been 166 confirmed cases related to the outbreak that began at the Heaven Supermarket bar in the Sanlitun region on Thursday. Of these cases, 145 were customers of the bar.

Between Monday and Wednesday, mass testing will be carried out in Chaoyang district, officials said at a press conference.

The total number of cases and deaths from the pandemic remains extremely low in China compared to many other countries.

But even as much of the world has relaxed restrictions, Chinese authorities maintain their zero-tolerance policy on Covid-19, trying to eliminate outbreaks early with measures that include tough restrictions on mobility and mass testing.

Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the Beijing city government, said at Sunday’s briefing that the current outbreak in the capital was “fierce”.

In Shanghai, which was under two months of lockdown until early June, authorities on Saturday announced a round of testing for most of its 25 million residents.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Martin Pollard in Beijing and David Kirton in Shenzhen)

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