Beijing tests millions over COVID cluster at bar

STORY: This is where a cluster of COVID-19 cases has been found in Beijing - the 24-hour Heaven Supermarket Bar, known for cheap liquor and big crowds.

It had just reopened as curbs in the Chinese capital eased last week.

Authorities are now racing to contained the outbreak.

Millions are facing mandatory testing and thousands are under targeted lockdowns.

Nearly 200 cases were linked to the bar since June 9.

Officials have said people infected live or work in 14 of the capital's 16 districts.

Authorities have described the outbreak as "ferocious" and "explosive".

The re-emergence of COVID infections highlights how hard it will be for China to make a success of its "zero COVID" policy.

And raises new concerns about the outlook for the world's second-largest economy.

Marc Delort works in Beijing:

“I mean that, you know that if you have to follow the zero-COVID policy, then you have to be, I would say, more, to pay more attention on the way you reopen your restaurants, the bars, discotheque, and so on. Today they reopened maybe too quickly... And now we are back into a quite difficult situation, in particular for the companies which are working in Beijing.”

Chaoyang, where the bar cluster was discovered, kicked off a three-day mass testing campaign among its roughly 3.5 million residents on Monday (June 13).

About 10,000 close contacts of the bar's patrons have been identified, and their residential buildings put under lockdown.

Some planned school reopenings in the district have also been postponed.

Officials have not commented on the exact cause of the bar outbreak, nor explained why they are not yet reinstating the level of curbs seen last month.

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