Beijing responds to infection cluster with massive PCR testing drive

Authorities in the Chinese capital of Beijing have begun a large-scale PCR testing campaign to combat the coronavirus in response to an outbreak that began at a bar in the central district of Chaoyang.

The three-day PCR testing drive began on Monday and will cover about 3.4 million residents of the district. People formed long lines at test venues.

City officials say that 228 cases linked to the bar have been confirmed since Thursday, and that more than 8,000 people had been identified as close contacts as of Sunday.

All sporting events have been banned across the capital. The Universal Studios theme park in Beijing will remain closed.

After case counts began to rise in late April, officials banned all restaurants and bars from serving customers on their premises for about a month.

The large-scale testing comes only one week after officials lifted restrictions in most parts of the city on June 6, citing the falling number of infections.

The government of President Xi Jinping maintains its "zero-COVID" policy.

Officials step up measures to contain an outbreak each time the number of cases increases. This response is raising concerns about the economy and people's overall well-being.