China: Qingdao city lunches mass tests after new Covid-19 cases emerge
China’s Qingdao city says it will conduct COVID-19 tests for the entire population of more than 9 million people over five days after new cases appeared linked to a hospital treating imported infections.
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. Most of the cases were linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital.
Qingdao has already locked down Qingdao Chest Hospital as well as the emergency department of its central hospital. The buildings where those diagnosed with the disease live have also been sealed off as part of the authorities’ containment measures.
China has extensive, quick test capabilities and the health commission said more than 140,000 employees of “medical institutions, newly admitted patients and personnel” had been tested in Qingdao since the cases were confirmed.
The coastal city is nearly 700km (435 miles) southeast of Beijing.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not count as confirmed cases, rose to 32 from 23 a day earlier, the National Health Commission (NHC) said. It did not offer a breakdown on where the new asymptomatic cases were reported, though it said 29 of these cases were “imported infections”, meaning in incoming travelers.
However, China COVID-19 cases have fallen drastically but the country remains on high alert in order to prevent painful lockdowns that led to an outright contraction of the world’s No. 2 economy.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China was at 85,578 on Monday, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4634.