The Chinese city of Qingdao is testing its entire population of nine million people for Covid-19 over a period of five days. The mass testing comes after the discovery of a dozen cases linked to a hospital treating coronavirus patients arriving from abroad.
In May, China tested the entire city of Wuhan – home to 11 million people and the epicentre of the global pandemic. The country has largely brought the virus under control.
That is in stark contrast to other parts of the world, where there are still high case numbers and lockdown restrictions of varying severity.
In a statement posted to Chinese social media site Weibo, Qingdao’s Municipal Health Commission said six new cases and six asymptomatic cases had been discovered. All the cases were linked to the same hospital, said the state-run Global Times.
The Chinese authorities now have a strategy of mass testing even when a new coronavirus cluster appears to be relatively minor.
Some 114,862 people – including medical staff and newly hospitalised patients in the city’s hospitals – had already tested negative, Qingdao’s health commission said.
Videos circulating online showed residents lining up late on Sunday to get tested, said the Global Times, adding that some of these test points were open from 07:00 to 23:00.
The new cases come a week after China’s Golden Week holiday – which saw millions travel across the country.