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Enlarge / Medical workers take swab samples from residents (L) to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus, in a street in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on May 15, 2020. – Authorities in the pandemic ground zero of Wuhan have ordered mass COVID-19 testing for all 11 million residents after a new cluster of cases emerged over the weekend.Getty | STR

Chinese officials have begun an unprecedented attempt to test 11 million people for COVID-19 in just 10 days.

Plans for the gargantuan feat came about earlier this week after officials in Wuhan—the capital city of Chinas central Hubei province where the pandemic first began in January—identified a cluster of six new cases over the past weekend. The cluster included an 89-year-old symptomatic man and five asymptomatic cases, all of which lived in the same residential community.

The six cases were the first detection of new infections in more than a month in the hard-hit city—and government officials arent taking any chances when it comes to thwarting a dreaded second wave of infections. They quickly announced a plan to test all residents of the city, which number roughly 11 million.

Its unclear if the government can gather enough test kits and arrange test site logistics in that time frame. Even if they excluded people who had recently been tested, the city would still have to test at least 730,000 people a day, state media reported. The current testing capacity in the city maxes out at 100,000 tests a day, the media noted.

Strategy

According to reporting by the New York Times, the city plans to do testing on a staggered, neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. Government notices for testing sites went out through social media, paper fliers, and announcements on loudspeakers.

One post on social media read: “A nucleic acid test is your Read More – Source

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arstechnica

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