A coronavirus outbreak in China triggers a huge testing machine: more than 9 million in five days

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Authorities have already started testing all Qingdao city residents after detecting about 12 cases related to a hospital.

Once again, and there are already a few, China once again shows that in the fight against coronavirus the country is going to a different speed to the rest. After almost two months without registering ni a single local contagion, the appearance of a small outbreak in the coastal city of Qingdao – twelve confirmed cases, half of them asymptomatic – is going to be addressed by subjecting the nucleic acid test to their more than nine million inhabitants in just five days.

The spectacular nature of the measure follows the guidelines set when treating previous outbreaks, and with it they intend to prevent the outbreak from spreading to other cities in the territory.

The new outbreak is linked to the Qingdao Municipal Hospital for Pectoral Ailments, where those people who, when coming to China from abroad, it is detected that they are sick with Covid-19 during the tests and mandatory quarantine to which they are subjected upon arrival in the country.

The hospital where the outbreak was detected has been closed and the buildings in which those affected reside, confined.

For now, the vast majority of those infected are directly related to the center. According to the Qingdao Municipal Health Commission, one of those infected is a cabbie married to a hospital nurse. When the man went to the medical center, he was tested for coronavirus and it came back positive, which caused some concern given that the nature of your work I could have been in contact with a lot more people.

In addition to closing the hospital and confining the buildings where those affected live, the authorities have launched a campaign of mass testing which will last five days and aims to cover its more than nine million inhabitants.

For now, tests performed on the city’s nearly 162,000 hospital employees and patients have come back negative. Images and videos circulating on the internet showed local residents patiently queuing up Sunday before getting tested at designated locations.

The regrowth has been detected just after the end of the so-called “golden week”, one of the most important holiday periods in the country in which more than 600 million internal trips.

According to the local Municipal Office of Culture and Tourism, this peaceful city in Shandong province, famous for being home to Tsingtao beer, recently received a few 4.5 million travelers during this period.

This is not the first time that Qingdao has made headlines for the virus. At the end of September, it was learned that two stevedores at the city’s port were asymptomatic after unloading packages of frozen fish with traces of coronavirus in them. Although 210,000 residents were later tested, they all tested negative, and no other case related to this lot has been known since.

In September 210,000 tests were carried out after identifying that two stevedores had tested positive in the port of Qingdao Now, Beijing is applying in Qingdao the recipe that has given such good results on previous occasions.

First it was the city of Wuhan, ground zero of the pandemic, where they subjected two and a half months of strict confinement its eleven million inhabitants.

Also at that time other measures began to be applied such as the mandatory use of masks, the use of mobile applications to track patients and their contacts or mass testing campaigns, which allowed him to reset the count of infected in the capital of the Hubei province.

Later, the authorities have followed the same guidelines wherever an outbreak has emerged, be it the country’s mammoth capital (Beijing), the small Russian border town of Suifenhe or the cities of Harbin, Dalian and Urumqi, capital of the region from Xinjiang.

With this way of acting, the country has almost completely eradicated the pathogen from within its borders, where the population can lead a lifestyle very similar to that of before the outbreak of the crisis.

According to official data, there are little more than 85,500 cases and 4,600 deaths, of which the vast majority occurred at the beginning of the year in Wuhan.


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