China's Qingdao orders city-wide COVID-19 testing following new infections

China's Qingdao orders city-wide COVID-19 testing following new infections”

There have been several limited localised COVID-19 outbreaks, as in Qingdao now, but they have been swiftly halted.

The new outbreak is linked to a hospital where imported coronavirus cases are being treated.

Since the new cases were confirmed, authorities acted quickly and the local health commission said more than 140,000 employees of "medical institutions, newly admitted patients and personnel" had been tested.

The specific source of infection was still under investigation, the city government said on Sunday.

The five districts surrounding the Chest Hospital will be tested within three days.

Among the dozen cases are patients who visited the hospital for non-coronavirus treatments and their family members, as well as health aids working at the facility.

Qingdao authorities have announced a citywide testing campaign that will embrace an estimated 9 million inhabitants and last for 5 days, it emerged on Monday.

Buildings housing infected individuals have also been locked down as part of the city's virus containment measures.

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The new infections emerged shortly after China completed its Golden Week holiday, during which millions of people travelled domestically.

The Global Times reported that several other cities, including Beijing, have "required residents who had been to Qingdao during the holidays to report to their local communities" for testing. An investment and trade expo in Qingdao organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and scheduled for the weekend of October 16-18 was postponed, state TV reported.

The Wall Street Journal described Qingdao as famed for its "beaches and beer", as it is home to one of China's most famous breweries. Mass testing was also used in those cases.

The city in Shandong province said on Sunday that it found three asymptomatic cases linked to a hospital which treats Covid-19 patients coming from overseas.

The number of new nationwide asymptomatic cases, which China counts separately from confirmed cases, rose to 32 from 23 a day earlier.

The commission said 29 of these cases involved people returning from overseas.

China's confirmed COVID-19 death toll now stands at 4,739, while the U.S., the world's worst-hit country, has seen more than 214,000 deaths.

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