Authorities in Wuhan in China say city-wide Covid-19 testing is complete after spate of cases

Authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan said on Sunday they had completed city-wide testing of more than 11 million people for Covid-19 after a resurgence of cases more than a year after the coronavirus first emerged there.

The tests — which began Tuesday — will provide “basically full coverage” for all residents of the city, except children under the age of six and college students during their summer vacation, senior Wuhan official Li Tao told a news conference, according to the state-run Xinhua.

By Saturday, the city had registered 37 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases and found 41 local asymptomatic carriers in the latest round of mass testing, Xinhua reported.

City officials announced last week that seven locally transmitted infections had been found among migrant workers in Wuhan, breaking a year-long streak with no domestic cases after it crushed an initial outbreak with an unprecedented lockdown in early 2020.

Authorities said they quickly mobilized more than 28,000 health workers in about 2,800 locations for the testing campaign.

China reduced domestic cases to virtually zero after the coronavirus first emerged in the city in late 2019, allowing the economy to recover and life largely returning to normal.

But the new outbreak has put that record in jeopardy, as the rapidly spreading Delta variant reaches dozens of cities after infections among airport cleaners in Nanjing sparked a series of cases reported across the country.

China has since confined entire cities to their homes, cutting domestic transport links and rolling out mass testing as it battles the outbreak, the largest in months.

Beijing has also tightened foreign travel restrictions for its citizens as part of efforts to contain the rising cases.

China’s Immigration Service announced on Wednesday it would stop issuing ordinary passports and other documents needed to leave the country in “non-essential and non-emergency” cases.

That does not mean a general travel ban for the Chinese public.


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