Is Kovid going to ‘explode’ in China? Bars, salons become sources of outbreaks in Beijing, Shanghai

Image Source: AP

A woman is strangled at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing

China warned of an ‘explosive’ Covid-19 outbreak in the country, with both the capital Beijing and the financial center Shanghai reporting a cluster of cases tied to a bar and a hair salon.

A Chinese government official said 61 cases were reported in Beijing on Friday and all patients were linked to the ‘Heaven Supermarket Bar’ – they had either visited the bar themselves or had met someone who had visited the bar.

Beijing municipal government spokesman Xu Hejian was quoted by news agency Reuters as saying: “The recent outbreak …

Just a day before the outbreak, Beijing revamped its COVID restrictions on Thursday. At least two districts closed some entertainment venues after violence erupted in neighborhoods full of nightlife, shopping and embassies.

On Friday, the city did not announce the new restrictions at the briefing, but later the Beijing Sports Administration said that from Sunday all off-campus and “offline” sporting activities for teenagers would be canceled.

So far 115 cases and 6,158 close contacts linked to the bar have been reported, bringing back the city of 22 million.

China’s Kovid numbers – lower than global standards but high for the country

China’s Covid-19 infection rate is lower than the global number, but the country maintains a zero-Covid policy to “protect the elderly and the medical system”.

So far, only 5,226 deaths have occurred due to Kovid-19 in the country with a population of 1.4 billion.

Lockdown lifted just two weeks ago

Beijing only less than two weeks ago eased restrictions it had imposed to fight a major outbreak that began in April.

The sprawling Universal Beijing Resort – a theme park on the outskirts of the city – scrapped plans to reopen on Friday. City officials said three of its employees had gone to the Haven supermarket bar.

Several neighborhoods in the capital have been put under lockdown, residents have been asked to stay indoors.

Shanghai begins mass testing

Shanghai residents, who came out of a stringent COVID lockdown earlier this month, are going back to tighter COVID restrictions. Authorities have ordered PCR tests for all residents in 15 of Shanghai’s 16 districts this weekend, and five districts have prohibited residents from leaving their homes during the testing period. A city official said residents should complete at least one PCR test a week by July 31.

The country’s commercial hub had on Saturday announced three new confirmed local cases and one asymptomatic case detected outside isolated areas on Saturday.

Officials said they had reprimanded several district-level officials for lapses in a hotel, which was used to block arrivals from abroad. He also sacked executives of a government firm owned by Red Rose Beauty Salon, where three cases were found among workers this week.

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

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

(inputs from Reuters)

Read also | Shanghai re-lockdown: Millions in Minhang district face strict COVID-19 restrictions

Read also | Shanghai: After two months towards the end of the strict lockdown, the covid curbs

latest world news