The Chinese city of Wuhan, where coronavirus was first discovered late last year, screened nearly 10 million citizens in an ambitious 19-day program to disinfect the whole region.
About 300 cases were found, all of which had no symptoms. The city reported no infections within 1,174 near relatives to people who tested positive, indicating that it could not be quickly transmitted to others.
This is possibly a promising step, considering the common fear that affected individuals without signs could be silent spreaders of the disease.
“It not only makes the people of Wuhan feel at ease, it also increases people’s confidence in all of China,’’ Feng Zijian, vice director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told state broadcaster CCTV.
No conclusive answer has yet been given to the degree of danger raised by asymptomatic events, with empirical data and research to date providing contradictory responses.
On Tuesday, an official in the City announced that 9.9 million tests had been completed between 14 May and 1 June. Where the previous assessments have been used, almost everyone above the age of 5 in the region has been checked by 11 million people, said Li Lanjuan, a member of the National Health Commission’s team of experts.
The program began when a small number of cases were discovered in a residential building, which gave rise to a possible second wave of infections as Wuhan emerges from a 2 1/2 month lockdown.