Wuhan Will Test All Residents Amid Its First Covid Outbreak in a Year
Wuhan, the city in central China where the pandemic first appeared, plans to test all of its 11 million residents for the coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday, as they announced the first local transmission since last spring.
The city, the first to show the world the damage the virus could cause, had not recorded any local cases since May of last year, after a harsh two-and-a-half-month lockdown helped eradicate the virus there. -low. But city officials said they had detected three symptomatic local cases in the previous 24 hours, as well as five asymptomatic cases.
Wuhan has taken some of China’s toughest measures to stop the spread of the virus, and many residents continued to wear masks even as people relaxed elsewhere as the country brought the outbreak under control. But China is grappling with several new outbreaks as the Delta variant makes inroads, notably into the cities of Nanjing and Zhangjiajie, and several others in the south of the country. Zhangjiajie authorities have also banned residents and tourists from leaving the city, imposing a de facto lockdown.
Wuhan had already tested all of its residents in two weeks last spring, mobilizing the vast network of local Chinese Communist Party officials in a feat unprecedented at the time. Since then, the country has carried out several mass testing campaigns.
Officials said Wuhan was a transportation hub and it was crucial to cut off all other transmission there. Liu Dongru, a provincial health official, told a press conference on Tuesday that authorities “will firmly protect the hard-won results against the epidemic.”
Authorities also announced on Tuesday that large-scale gatherings would be banned. They urged residents not to leave Wuhan and suspended offline classes.
Amy Chang Dog contributed reports.
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