New restrictions in Beijing following a number of cases

A small hearth of hers COVID-19 now hits the heart of the Chinese capital

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The City of Beijing today closed a large shopping mall and quarantined several residential complexes after detecting a few cases of the new coronavirus, as a small outbreak of COVID-19 now hits the heart of the Chinese capital.

The resurgence, which is very small compared to the situation in most other countries, comes as Beijing's Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party holds a plenary session attended by hundreds of members.

China has largely controlled the epidemic in its territory since the spring of 2020, thanks to mandatory quarantines, strict restrictive measures, isolation of contacts, drastic controls on international arrivals or even travel monitoring.

The country has mostly normal rhythms of life. However, authorities have been on high alert since last month to contain a fire that was initially linked to the movement of a group of tourists infected by the new coronavirus and is affecting many provinces.

Six young patients with COVID-19 were recorded this morning in Beijing in the central areas of Chaoyang and Haidian, according to local media.

The Raffles City Mall, in the heart of the Chinese capital, closed yesterday, Wednesday night, as a patient with COVID-19 had previously visited it, writes the Beijing Youth Newspaper.

Municipal health officials say more than 280 cases of contact have already been identified and 12.000 people have been tested in Chaoyang and Haidian districts.

"This recovery from the epidemic was sudden," municipal spokesman Hu Hetjian told reporters today. "Today is a crucial day and it is imperative that we detect the source of the infections as soon as possible," he added.

Five residential complexes, an elementary school and two office complexes were also quarantined today. As a result, tens of thousands of Beijing residents (out of a population of 22 million) are barred from leaving the country and undergoing diagnostic tests.

Local media today show staff in protective uniforms preparing food to be given to quarantined residents.

Many cinemas, theaters, karaoke and other entertainment venues have closed in recent days for precautionary measures.

Since last year, as the Beijing Winter Olympics approach (February 4-20), China has been pursuing a zero-tolerance policy towards COVID-19.