Health Care

China’s Wuhan conducted 113,609 COVID-19 tests on May 15

China’s Wuhan conducted 113,609 COVID-19 tests on May 15”

China has reported 21 new Covid-19 infections, including 13 asymptomatic ones, taking the number of cases in the country to 82,941, health authorities said on Saturday, as Wuhan city, where the outbreak originated, ramped up efforts for the mass testing of its 11 million residents.

But like other large gatherings, they were banned across China from late January for a few months in a bid to curb the virus' spread, and have only recently resumed in Wuhan which lifted its 76-day lockdown on April 8.

The number of tests carried out on May 16 in the city of 11 million residents was more than the 186,400 tests conducted on May 14-15, and was also the highest since the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission started publishing the data on February 21.

All of the new cases were locally transmitted and the number of new asymptomatic cases fell slightly to 11 from 12 a day earlier.

Asymptomatic cases are where people test positive for the disease, but show no outward signs of the disease.

According to a widely circulated document from Wuhan's anti-virus department cited by several Chinese local media, authorities in Wuhan ordered all districts in the city to submit a plan by Tuesday, detailing how they would conduct the testing of every resident.

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Zhong, who helped expose the scale of the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), also said authorities in ground-zero Wuhan had under-reported cases during the early days of the pandemic. Hubei health commission said on Saturday that a total of 283,405 close contacts of Covid-19 patients in the province had been tracked by Friday, 763 of whom were still under medical observation.

Recent outbreaks in the northeasterly Heilongjiang province and Jilin city have contributed to fears of other fresh outbreaks in China.

"The epidemic situation is now fragmented domestically, but the task of preventing a rebound of the epidemic remains arduous", said Zeng Yixin, a vice minister at the NHC, told a news conference on Friday. But the numbers of asymptomatic cases continued to increase as 13 more cases were reported on Friday.

China has stopped foreigners entering the country as a precaution against imported infections. The NHC said that 561 asymptomatic cases, including 30 from overseas, were still under medical observation.

However, the city - where the virus first emerged in December a year ago before it spread across the world and wreaked havoc - has over 400 asymptomatic cases, which sparked concern over a rebound of the virus.



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