In China's Qingdao, authorities check over 3 mn swabs for COVID-19 in two days after minor outbreak

The move to conduct tests of around 9.4 million population within five days comes after the detection of a dozen cases linked to a hospital on Sunday

Agence France-Presse October 13, 2020 15:39:02 IST
In China's Qingdao, authorities check over 3 mn swabs for COVID-19 in two days after minor outbreak

A health worker takes a swab from a resident to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus in Qingdao, in China's eastern Shandong province on October 12, 2020. AFP

Beijing: More than three million swabs have been taken in a matter of days in Qingdao, the Chinese port city where a minor coronavirus outbreak elicited a sweeping health response.

Following country’s first reported local outbreak in nearly two months, queues for testing stretched deep into Monday night across the eastern city, which detected six virus cases the day before.

In scenes which contrast with the fumbled efforts of other nations to establish effective testing regimes, Qingdao health workers in protective gear set up tents to take samples across neighbourhoods, where parents brought toddlers for testing.

Residents said on social media that community representatives informed them of their nearest testing stations, with local districts helping to organise sample collection for mass testing.

"As of 8 am... our city has taken 3.08 million samples for nucleic testing, with 1.11 million results received," Qingdao's health commission said in a statement Tuesday.

In addition to six people with symptoms, there six asymptomatic cases have been detected so far.

The city declared it aims to test its entire population - around 9.4 million - within five days of the detection of the first cases at a hospital on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear how fast results could be processed, although China has paraded its rapid testing capacities during previous minor outbreaks.

China's ruling Communist Party is desperate to show its ability to manage the pandemic to its citizens - as well as to foreign audiences - after it emerged in the central city of Wuhan.

The country has bounced back since the virus emerged late last year and forced widespread lockdowns that hammered the world's second-largest economy.

China is also desperate to be the first nation to produce a coronavirus vaccine, with several companies in final-stage trials.

Updated Date:

also read

Coronavirus pandemic exacerbating poverty and inequalities, other shared challenges becoming more pressing: IMF
World

Coronavirus pandemic exacerbating poverty and inequalities, other shared challenges becoming more pressing: IMF

The IMF said the emergence of new COVID-19 variants has increased uncertainty, posing downside risks to the green shoots of the global economy which require urgent attention

Indian Wells Masters: Aryna Sabalenka to miss out of event after contracting coronavirus
Sports

Indian Wells Masters: Aryna Sabalenka to miss out of event after contracting coronavirus

Aryna Sabalenka was due to be top-seeded for the 4-17 October tournament at Indian Wells after No. 1-ranked Wimbledon champion Ash Barty withdrew to rest at home in Australia

World Mental Health Day 2021: 3 ways we can move from ‘languishing’ to ‘flourishing’ in these times
Health

World Mental Health Day 2021: 3 ways we can move from ‘languishing’ to ‘flourishing’ in these times

Although many people are struggling and these struggles are not to be ignored, the pandemic has also provided a chance to flourish — functioning well and feeling good, with a sense that life is meaningful and worthwhile, despite challenging circumstances