International

Wuhan draws up plans to test all 11 million residents

Wuhan, May 12 (IANS) | Publish Date: 5/12/2020 9:47:35 AM IST

Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province where the COVID-19 pandemic emerged last December, was drawing up plans to test the city’s entire population of 11 million people for the deadly disease, state media reported on Tuesday.

According to a report by China’s digital media outlet The Paper, quoting a widely circulated internal document, every district in the city has been asked to draw up a 10-day testing plan by noon on Tuesday, the BBC reported.

Each district is responsible for coming up with its own plan based on the size of their population and whether or not there is currently an active outbreak in the district.

The document, which refers to the test plan as the “10-day battle”, also says that older people and densely populated communities should be prioritised when it comes to testing.

However several senior health officials quoted by the state-run Global Times newspaper indicated that testing the entire city would be unfeasible and costly.

Peng Zhiyong, director of the intensive care unit of the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, instead that testing was instead likely to be targeted at medical workers, vulnerable people and those who had had close contacts with a case. Another Wuhan University director suggested that a large percentage of the city’s population - around 3-5 million - had already been tested, and it was “capable” of testing the remaining 6-8 million in a 10-days period.

This development comes after Wuhan recorded six new cases over the weekend, the BBC reported. Prior to this, it had seen no new cases at all since April 3. As of Tuesday, China reported 84,011 COVID-19 cases, with 4,637 deaths.

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