By Charlie Loran • 12 October 2020 • 9:13
CHINA is set to test the entire city of Qingdao with a population of nine million people for COVID-19 in the space of just five days after a cluster of infections sprung up in a local hospital.
Five districts in the port city of Qingdao will be tested within three days, health officials said, while the whole city will be tested within five.
It comes after 12 cases of the virus were detected in the city, 350 miles north of Shanghai, at a hospital treating infected people returning from overseas.
The cases were first reported on Sunday, October 11, and health officials say, 140,000 employees, patients, and personnel linked to the hospital have already been tested.
The outbreak was detected after the ‘Golden Week’ holiday, which sees hundreds of millions of people travel across China, leading to fears the infections could have spread beyond the city.
The city of Jinan, which is close to Qingdao, has asked everyone who visited since September 23 to be tested immediately.
Testing in Qingdao is being carried out at makeshift medical centres around the city, which are operating between 7am and 11pm.
A spokesman for local authorities explained the country now has a policy of mass-testing cities if and when a cluster of infections is reported, even if the cluster appears minor.
In June, large areas of the capital Beijing were subject to mass tests after the city of more than 20 million detected virus cases linked to a food market.
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