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Beijing tests district residents after 166 COVID-19 cases connected to nightclub

Chinese walk past an ambulance designed for international medical problems parked on a shopping plaza popular with locals and tourists as COVID-19 returns to Beijing, on August 4, 2021. Beijing started massive testing in a district of a popular nightclub connected to a new outbreak. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/972d7dc1a7c23a881c563f3b4b716619/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Chinese walk past an ambulance designed for international medical problems parked on a shopping plaza popular with locals and tourists as COVID-19 returns to Beijing, on August 4, 2021. Beijing started massive testing in a district of a popular nightclub connected to a new outbreak. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

June 13 (UPI) -- Chinese health officials said Monday they have tracked 166 cases of new coronavirus infections from a single nightclub in Beijing, creating new headaches for pandemic control efforts there.

The Chinese capital was slowly trying to rebound after a two-month COVID-19 lockdown when it started to track a new round of infections Thursday. Researchers found a connection with the new cases to the Heaven Supermarket Club, a popular nightclub in downtown Gongti.

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"The Omicron variant, which fueled Beijing's latest epidemic spike, is much more difficult to detect and has a much faster transmission speed than the prevailing variants in 2020," Wang Guangfa, a Beijing-based respiratory expert, told the state-run Global Times.

"So, it is now more difficult to detect infections, leading to potential hidden transmissions."

In an effort to quickly control the pandemic, Beijing health officials have tested all residents living in the area over the past three days. China continued to operate under a "zero COVID" policy.

The new outbreak has forced Beijing to delay the return of most children to school next week as originally planned.

Oil prices dropped on Monday after the news broke of a new Beijing clampdown. The United States benchmark West Texas Intermediate saw prices drop 1.28% early Monday to $119.10 per barrel. The international benchmark Brent crude fell 1.13% to $120.60.

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