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May 13, 2020

China to test entire Wuhan population after new virus cluster

Top Story

May 13, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Wuhan plans to conduct coronavirus tests on the Chinese city's entire population after new cases emerged for the first time in weeks in the cradle of the global pandemic, state media reported Tuesday.

Officials have been ordered to submit by noon on Tuesday plans to administer nucleic acid tests on all residents in the city of 11 million people, according to an official notice carried by news outlets.

"Each district should make plans and arrangements to conduct nucleic acid tests on the entire population in its jurisdiction within a 10-day time limit," the notice said, although it was unclear when testing would begin.

The plan came after Wuhan reported the first cluster of new COVID-19 infections since the city re-opened after a 76-day lockdown on April 8.

Six new cases were reported on Sunday and Monday from a residential compound in Dongxihu district.

But an official from the Dongxihu district epidemic prevention and control commanding office said that they have "not yet received news about this notice".

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told state broadcaster CCTV it was "not necessary" for every person in Wuhan to be tested. "Neighbourhoods without any cases don't need to screen every person," Wu said, while large-scale screening should focus on "key jobs" and other criteria.