Beijing investigates bar over COVID-19 cluster

A resident scans a QR code to register his health status at the entrance of a community in Zhongguancun of Haidian District, Beijing, China, June 12, 2022. (REN CHAO / XINHUA)

BEIJING – Authorities in Beijing have launched an investigation into a 24-hour bar they believe to be at the center of a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases in the Chinese capital since last week. 

The Heaven Supermarket Bar, located in Chaoyang District, will be investigated and dealt with according to the law, local authorities said on Tuesday. 

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From June 9 to 3 pm on June 13, the city reported 228 infections in the COVID-19 cluster related to the bar. 

On Monday, the Chinese mainland reported 60 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 42 in Beijing, 15 in Inner Mongolia autonomous region and three in Shanghai.

Chaoyang, the district in which the bar is located, began a three-day mass testing campaign Monday for its roughly 3.5 million residents

To cut off the virus spread as soon as possible, Beijing has carried out a mass inspection of entertainment places such as bars, nightclubs, KTVs, and internet cafes. Underground and other unqualified entertainment venues are being shut down. 

People infected in the outbreak live or work in 14 of the capital's 16 districts, according to the authorities. 

Drinking and dining in most establishments in the city only resumed on June 6, after more than a month of measures such as exhortations to work from home, along with closures of malls and stretches of the transport system. 

Chaoyang, the city's largest district in which the bar is located, began a three-day mass testing campaign on Monday for its roughly 3.5 million residents. 

READ MORE: COVID bar cluster: Beijing tests millions, isolates thousands

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

With inputs from Reuters