Shanghai, the most populous city in China, has been implementing strict isolation measures for its residents for a month because of a surge in the number of coronavirus cases. Simultaneously, the capital Beijing is also preparing for a possible wave of cases of this disease.
Local authorities have made it a priority to test 90% of its 21 million residents, according to the Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times.
It was decided on Tuesday (26) that three rounds of testing would be done in 11 localities of the Chinese capital. A day earlier, mass testing had begun in Chaoyang district, where 46 cases have been reported and more than a dozen presidential buildings have been placed in isolation.
Residents told DW that testing stations had been set up in each community. “The biggest ones have a maximum of two positions, and all exams are free”,
said a resident. Besides this, health officials went door-to-door for tests.
Pang Jinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said preliminary epidemiological testing shows the chain of transmission is clear in origin. However, officials say there is still a risk of an escalation of the outbreak, as population flows increase around the May holidays.
Lu Hongzhou, director of the Shenzhen city’s team of anti-epidemic experts, said in an interview with the Global Times that the large-scale PCR tests administered by Beijing “will go a long way in keeping the epidemic under control.”
According to Xi Chen, an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health in the United States, Beijing officials have learned from the Shanghai experience.
“The number of confirmed cases in Beijing last weekend was the same as in Shanghai on March 3, March 4. Shanghai waited ten days to tighten public health measures and imposed a lockdown on March 28. Beijing’s announcement of three rounds of large-scale testing appears to be more reactive this time. ,
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