Wuhan, the Chinese city that was ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic, plans to test its entire population for the novel coronavirus after a cluster of new cases emerged.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an emergency notice on Monday announcing a “10 Day Battle” to ramp up its ability to conduct nucleic acid tests on the city’s 11 million residents. Each district must submit a detailed plan by Tuesday on how they will test their respective communities, according to an official leaflet which has been circulated on social media and carried by state-run media.
The document did not state a timeline for the completion of the testing drive itself.
Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei province, reported its first cluster of coronavirus infections on Monday in over a month, stoking fears of a second wave. The five new locally transmitted cases arose from a previously asymptomatic patient who then spread the virus to four others in their residential compound, according to the official state-run Xinhua News Agency.
China’s National Health Commission said Tuesday morning that no new cases had been reported in Hubei province over the past 24 hours.
Wuhan was the first city in the world to go under a coronavirus-related lockdown after the newly identified virus was thought to have first emerged there in December. The lockdown was lifted last month and life in the city has slowly been returning to normal. Last week, Chinese authorities decided to downgrade the entire country from high- to low-risk for the novel coronavirus as the number of new infections continued to hover just above zero and no new deaths had been reported for several consecutive days.
But Wuhan’s Dongxihu district raised its risk level from low to medium after a new locally-transmitted case was confirmed there over the weekend, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Chinese mainland has reported 82,919 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,633 deaths. There are still 115 people with the disease in hospitals, according to the National Health Commission.