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Beijing bar-linked Covid-19 outbreak easing as official declares initial victory

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A Covid-19 outbreak in the Chinese capital centred on a bar is easing after the testing of millions of people and the halting of some leisure businesses, the city said on Thursday (June 16), as it declared an initial victory in its latest battle with the virus.

The flare-up emerged just days after Beijing started to lift widespread curbs that had been in place for more than a month to tackle a broader outbreak in the city.

"After eight days of hard fighting and the concerted efforts of Beijing residents in the battle, the swift and decisive measures have shown their effect," Beijing city government spokesperson Xu Hejian said.

"The Heaven Supermarket bar outbreak is easing, but the possibility of hidden infections in communities still exists," Mr Xu told a news briefing.

The outbreak is tiny by global standards, with a total of 351 cases since it started on June 9, but it has raised new questions about China's "dynamic Covid-zero" strategy that aims to eliminate transmission in communities.

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