COVID: Beijing warns of an “explosive” epidemic


China’s capital Beijing is experiencing an ‘explosive’ outbreak of COVID-19 linked to a bar, a government spokesperson said on Saturday, as the mall, Shanghai, carried out mass testing to contain a rise in cases linked to hairdresser.

The warning follows a further tightening of COVID restrictions in Beijing since Thursday, with at least two districts closing some entertainment venues after an outbreak in an area full of nightlife, shops and embassies.

Although China’s infection rate is low by global standards, it maintains a zero COVID policy, citing the need to protect the elderly and the medical system even as other countries try to live with the virus. .

So far, the country of 1.4 billion people has recorded only 5,226 deaths from COVID-19.

Beijing authorities said on Saturday that the 61 new cases discovered in the city on Friday had either visited Heaven Supermarket Bar or had links to it.

« The recent outbreak…is highly explosive in nature and wide-ranging in scope, » Beijing municipal government spokesman Xu Hejian said at a press briefing.

The capital had registered 46 new local cases as of 3 p.m. Saturday, all people already in isolation or under observation, health official Liu Xiaofeng said.

The city did not announce new restrictions during the briefing, but later the Beijing Sports Administration said all off-campus and « offline » sports activities for teenagers would be canceled from Sunday.

So far, 115 cases and 6,158 close contacts linked to the bar have been reported, throwing the city of 22 million back into a state of anxiety.

Beijing only eased restrictions less than two weeks ago that were imposed to tackle a major outbreak that began in April.

The sprawling Universal Beijing Resort – a theme park on the outskirts of the city – canceled a reopening plan on Friday. City authorities said three of its employees visited the Heaven Supermarket bar. Read the full story

Many areas of the capital have been quarantined, with residents told to stay at home.


In Shanghai, authorities announced three new local confirmed cases and one asymptomatic case detected outside quarantine zones on Saturday, as nearly all of the city’s 25 million residents began a new round of COVID testing.

Authorities ordered PCR tests for all residents in 15 of Shanghai’s 16 districts over the weekend, and five districts banned residents from leaving their homes during the testing period. A city official said residents should perform at least one PCR test per week through July 31.

China’s most populous city only lifted a grueling two-month COVID-19 lockdown on June 1. Read the full article

« I’m a bit worried because if there are positive cases in the compound, it will be sealed off, » said Shanghai resident Shi Weiqi. “I will also stock up on supplies properly in case the previous situation happens again.”

Shanghai authorities said they also reprimanded and fired several district-level officials for misconduct at a hotel that was used to quarantine arrivals from overseas, identified as one of the sources of the Shanghai surge. of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

They also said they warned or fired some executives at a state-owned company that owns the Red Rose beauty salon, where three cases were discovered this week among workers.

Salon workers had not followed guidelines to perform daily PCR tests, they said.

On Saturday, Shanghai reported seven new local symptomatic cases for the previous day, an increase of one, six of which were detected outside quarantine areas.

The city also recorded nine new local asymptomatic cases, up from six the previous day.

In total, mainland China reported 210 new coronavirus cases for June 10, of which 79 were symptomatic and 131 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said.

That amounted to 151 new cases a day earlier, including 45 symptomatic and 106 asymptomatic.

As of Friday, mainland China had confirmed 224,659 cases with symptoms.

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Ryan Woo, Brenda Goh and Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill, David Holmes and Kevin Liffey)


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