China claims it will test entire city for coronavirus after just 12 cases

China claims it will test a city’s nine million residents for coronavirus after six patients were identified.

Medical officials in Qingdao, in the country’s eastern Shandong Province, will carry out the tests in just five days, according to state-owned newspaper The Global Times.

Twelve people – six of whom were asymptomatic – tested positive on October 11, and all of them were linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital.

The institution is treating Covid-19 patients from abroad.

The Qingdao health authority now aims to test six million people across the five districts of Shinan, Shibei, Licang, Laoshan and Chengyang, in three days – and the whole city within five.

According to the newspaper, 114,862 medical staff, hospitalised patients and nurses in hospital in Qingdao have already tested negative.

Officials identified 132 close contacts of the patients, nine of whom tested positive, state-controlled China Global Television Network reports.

Local residents queued up to get the free nucleic acid tests, carried out with nasal swabs.

China does not technically count people who are infected with the virus but do not show symptoms of the disease as confirmed cases.

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The patients tested positive a week after China’s Golden Week holiday, in which millions travelled across the country.

Qingdao’s Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism said the coastal city had received 4.47 million passenger trips during the period.

In May, China claimed it had tested the entire city of Wuhan – home to 11 million people – and has largely brought the virus under control.

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The country yesterday recorded just 21 new coronavirus cases and zero fatalities.

According to the latest figures released by Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China stands at 90,812.

The death toll is 4,739.

In September, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, offered “deepest congratulations…to the front-line health workers in China and the population who worked together tirelessly to bring the disease to this very low level”.

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