Wuhan authorities said they found no new cases of “silent spreaders” for the first time in nearly two months as the city’s aggressive push to test its entire population appears to have succeeded in breaking hidden chains of transmission.
Of the 60,000 people tested on Sunday, no cases of asymptomatic infections were found, said the Wuhan municipal health commission on Monday. In an ambitious effort to guard against a resurgence of cases, Wuhan tested every resident for the virus and has found some 300 asymptomatic cases in the past two weeks.
Although Wuhan’s last reported population size before the coronavirus outbreak was 11 million, health authorities
The presence of infected people who show no outward signs of being sick but can nonetheless infect others has been an
In identifying the city’s asymptomatic carriers, Wuhan’s testing blitz could allow the city where the virus first emerged to eradicate the pathogen from its population. But its method is likely out of reach for other countries and even bigger Chinese cities as it requires a massive mobilization of resources and the full cooperation of residents.
Wuhan-dwellers were likely more willing to come forward for testing given the scars that the epidemic has left on the embattled city, which was sealed off for almost three months to contain the virus’s spread even as its local medical system nearly collapsed under the strain of the outbreak. Of China’s over 4,600 reported Covid-19 deaths, about 80% were in Wuhan.
Many countries, from developing ones like India and Indonesia to western nations like the U.S. and U.K., are still struggling to provide tests for everyone with symptoms, not to mention those without. Wuhan officials said that the blitz cost 900 million yuan ($127 million) and was fully borne by the government.
During the mass testing process, Wuhan found several dozen asymptomatic cases on a daily basis. The number has tapered down to single digits as testing came to an end, according to daily data released by the local health commission.
Despite having wrested its epidemic under control, China remains on high alert for sporadic infections which run the risk of a causing
In nearby provinces Jilin and Liaoning, a
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