New round of mass testing in Sichuan hot spot

Updated: May 23, 2022 Print
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A medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident for nucleic acid test in Linshui county of Guang'an, Southwest China's Sichuan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Linshui county in Guang'an, Sichuan province, conducted another round of mass coronavirus testing on Friday, as its cumulative COVID-19 infections rose above 1,000.

The testing covers all 1.01 million residents, including those belonging to the so-called floating population.

During the testing, traffic was suspended and all supermarkets and farm produce markets suspended operations, according to the Linshui county emergency response headquarters for COVID-19.

The county had conducted three earlier rounds of mass testing from Monday to Wednesday. It reported 20 locally transmitted confirmed cases and 102 asymptomatic carriers on Thursday, the Guang'an health commission said on Friday, bringing the total tally of infections to 1,050.

The Sichuan Health Commission said the outbreak in Linshui was the most serious since the pandemic began in 2020. The latest outbreak was detected in Linshui on May 9, and the county reported three asymptomatic carriers.

Luo Ronghong, an official of the Guang'an health commission, said that when the first cases were discovered, the highly transmissible Omicron variant had spread to the community level, which led to the current high daily caseload.

Linshui county is racing against time to comb through the population to find infection risks through mass testing, Luo added.

Treatment combining traditional Chinese medicine, Western medicine, psychological counseling and humanitarian care are provided for patients and people in quarantine, Luo said.

Linshui was locked down on May 10, one day after the outbreak. No new spillovers have been reported from outside Guang'an or outside Sichuan. The number of cases in non-controlled areas decreased significantly, and zero-COVID status at the community level will be achieved soon, said Zhu Xiaoping, chief expert of the Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


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