A second Chinese city has announced a Wuhan-style mass testing campaign to screen every one of its residents as it fights off a third wave of COVID-19 infections.
The city of Mudanjiang in China’s north-eastern Heilongjiang Province on the border with Russia announced a start to city-wide screening on Monday (1st June).
It comes as a total of 15 so-called asymptomatic ‘silent spreaders’ – COVID-19 carriers with no outward signs of the disease – are reported between 25th May and 1st June, the municipal health commission said yesterday (2nd June).
Credit: AsiaWire / Amao
All 2.8 million residents within its borders are queuing for coronavirus tests this week, with the project led by a specialist team of 1,196 medics from 11 tertiary hospitals and 12 secondary care facilities, the health authority said.
Like in Wuhan, gated communities under closed management are tasked with screening its residents, while public squares and primary schools have been converted into temporary COVID-19 testing stations.
Images from the city show residents queuing for swabs in their own neighbourhoods in their hundreds.
Credit: AsiaWire / Wuge
Mudanjiang remains the only city in Heilongjiang to be reporting new infections in what is being described as a third wave of mainly asymptomatic carriers.
The province had achieved zero no cases in mid-May, but by the end of the month officials were reporting a resurgence of COVID-19 in border towns in Mudanjiang.
It resulted in senior secondary school pupils being allowed back in classes on the morning of 25th May, only for lessons to be abruptly stopped and the students sent home the very same afternoon as two asymptomatic carriers were found in the city.
Mudanjiang officials had previously put the county-level city of Suifenhe on full lockdown on 8th April in a bid to stop a second wave of infections as Chinese nationals flooded home from Russia.
The border city becomes the second in China to announce an ambitious mass testing campaign after Wuhan in central Hubei Province.
The former COVID-19 epicentre is wrapping up its screening blitz, which officials said has reached 9.9 of its 11 million residents by 1st June.
The mass screening began on 14th May and cost the city over 100 million GBP while identifying more than 300 asymptomatic carriers.
Credit: AsiaWire / Sandy
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