The entire population in Wuhan will be tested for Covid-19, authorities said on Tuesday, after the central Chinese city where the coronavirus emerged reported its first local infections in more than a year.
The city with a population of 11 million is “swiftly launching comprehensive nucleic acid testing of all residents”, a senior Wuhan officer Li Tao said.
Seven locally transmitted infections were found among migrant workers in the city, authorities announced on Monday, which broke a year-long streak without any domestic cases after it had supressed an initial outbreak with an unprecedented lockdown in early 2020.
China has confined the entire residents of cities to their homes, cut all domestic transport links and implemented mass testing in recent days as it battles the largest Covid-19 outbreak in months.
As an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant reached various cities after infections among the airport cleaners in Nanjing city kindled a chain of infections that have been reported across the nation. 61 new domestic cases have been reported on Tuesday.
Major cities like Beijing have also now tested millions of it’s residents while closing off residential compounds and putting close contacts under quarantine.
After large-scale testing detected 40 new infections over the past day, the eastern city of Yangzhou, near Nanjing, was the latest local government to order residents to stay home. Over 1.3 million residents of Yangzhou’s urban core are now confined to their homes.
This announcement comes after the tourist destination of Zhangjiajie in Hunan province of central China, including Zhuzhou city issued similar orders in recent days to more than two million people combined.
Since then, authorities have been desperately tracking down thousands of fellow concertgoers and requested tourists not to travel to areas where cases have been reported.
Meanwhile, Beijing has blocked tourists from entering the capital during the travel season and urged residents not to leave unless it’s important, with top officers vowing to “spare no expense” in defending the city.
Previously, China had boasted of its success in bringing domestic cases down to zero after the Covid-19 first emerged in Wuhan, allowing the economy to bounce.
The latest outbreak, however is threatening that success with more than 400 domestic cases reported since mid-July.
(Inputs from agencies)