China’s Wuhan nearly doubles number of COVID-19 tests per day

BEIJING: The city of Wuhan, where the COVID-19 outbreak originated in China, conducted 222,675 nucleic acid tests on Saturday, the local health authority said on Sunday (May 17), nearly doubling from a day earlier.

Wuhan kicked off a campaign on May 14 to look for asymptomatic carriers – people who are infected but show no outward sign of illness – after confirming last weekend its first cluster of COVID-19 infections since its release from a virtual lockdown on Apr 8.

The number of tests carried out on Saturday in the city of 11 million residents was more than the 186,400 tests conducted on Thursday and Friday, and was also the highest since the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission started publishing the data on Feb 21.

READ: China reports 5 new COVID-19 cases, adviser says risk of second wave remains

Wuhan is conducting the testing on a voluntary basis.

Residents who were previously tested do not need to participate in the campaign. Those who test positive now will be notified as soon as possible.

No confirmed cases with symptoms were identified from May 14 to May 16, though 28 new asymptomatic carriers were found, according to daily reports published by the Wuhan health authority.

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