Wuhan, the Chinese city which reported the world’s first COVID-19 cases late last year, will test all 11 million residents for the new coronavirus over a 10-day period, Chinese and international media reported Tuesday.
The ambitious testing effort — which officials have referred to as “10 days of mass battle” against the virus — was spurred by the discovery of a new cluster of COVID-19 cases in the city, where officials had previously celebrated a month without any new infections, NPR reported.
Wuhan officials said earlier this week that at least six people from the same residential compound, including an 89-year-old man, had tested positive for the disease.
Reuters said each district in the city had been instructed to create a detailed testing plan for its residents. But it remains unclear when testing will begin.
Wuhan — which was under a strict lockdown for more than two months until restrictions were lifted in April — has reported more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases and over 3,800 deaths since it first flagged the existence of the new coronavirus in December.
Scientists believe the disease mostly likely originated in bats and may have spread to humans at a seafood market in Wuhan. Experts, however, have warned that this theory is not “conclusive by any means,” and remains a working hypothesis.
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