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China's Qingdao completes COVID-19 testing for more than 4 million people after new infections

China's Qingdao completes COVID-19 testing for more than 4 million people after new infections

Qingdao is aiming to test its entire population - around 9.4 million - within days. (Photo: AFP/STR)

BEIJING: China said on Wednesday (Oct 14) it has carried out more than 4.2 million tests in the port city of Qingdao, with no new cases of coronavirus found among the almost 2 million sets of results received.

Qingdao, a major seaport in China's eastern Shandong province, said on Monday that it would test the entire population of more than 9 million people, after a handful of new infections were reported over the weekend at a hospital that had treated imported cases.

Five districts will be tested "within three days" and the whole city "within five days", the statement on Monday said.

The city reported six new COVID-19 cases and six asymptomatic cases as of late Oct 11.  Most of the cases were linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital, which has already been locked down.

Buildings that the infected individuals live in have also been locked down as part of the virus containment measures.

READ: China tests entire city for virus as WHO slams herd immunity idea

Daily COVID-19 infections in China have fallen drastically from peaks early this year, but the country remains on high alert in order to prevent painful lockdowns that led to an outright contraction of the world's second-largest economy.

Hundreds of millions travelled across China for the Golden Week holiday last week as the country edges back to growth, while rapid tests and swift lockdowns have tamped down secondary waves of the virus.

China reported 20 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up from 13 cases a day earlier, the country's health authority said on Wednesday.

The National Health Commission said 14 of the new cases were imported infections originating from overseas. Six of the cases were local transmissions in Shandong province.

The commission also said another 18 asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, compared with 17 a day earlier. China does not count these patients as confirmed cases.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China now stands at 85,661, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.

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Source: AGENCIES/aj


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