In Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus broke out at the end of last year, six new infections suddenly surfaced again this weekend after a series of 35 days without it. The government is responding with its drastic, ambitious battle plan to test the entire city of eleven million residents for the new coronavirus. And in barely ten days, Reuters reports.
Press agency Reuters was able to look into an internal document from two sources that would show that Wuhan wants to subject the entire city of millions to Covid-19 tests. Each district was required to submit a detailed ten-day test plan for its region by today.
It is not clear whether Wuhan will really test all 11 million residents individually. It seems unlikely that Wuhan would have that testing capacity.
The battle plan would last ten days, meaning a staggering 1.1 million tests would be performed per day. By comparison, the US now does about 300,000 daily and has tested a total of 9 million people. Since lifting the lockdown, Wuhan performed an average of 47,000 tests per day, according to Reuters.
According to the leaked memo, which is now circulating everywhere, priority should already be given to vulnerable groups and neighborhoods, such as housing estates where people live very crowded lives.
Older people, caregivers and people who originally came from outside Wuhan and who may, therefore, travel more must also be tested first.
According to Yang Zhanqiu of the University of Wuhan, the city already increased its testing capacity in April. “Approximately three to five million people have already been tested and found healthy,” he says to the Global Times.
“This makes it feasible for Wuhan to test the remaining 6 to 8 million in 10 days.” In addition to the question of whether or not it is possible, it would also cost a lot of money.
Wuhan identified six new infections in the city last weekend for the first time since the months-long lockdown was lifted on April 8. The infections all came from the same housing complex.
Today, no new cases have been reported in Wuhan and only one in the whole of China. Officially there were 3,869 corona deaths in Wuhan. The fierce reaction of the Chinese city to only a handful of new infections shows that the fear of a second wave is intense.