Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese city of Wuhan has reportedly conducted 335,887 nucleic acid tests on May 17 compared to the 222,675 the local health ministry conducted the day before. As per reports, these tests are part of a campaign launched by the city to identify asymptomatic carriers — infected people who show no outward sign of illness. According to reports, Wuhan, which is the original epicentre of the virus, lifted lockdown on April 8, but since then confirmed another cluster of COVID-19 infections in May.
According to city officials, the residents who had already participated in the COVID-19 tests previously do not need to participate in the campaign. Speaking further, they reportedly said that those who test positive now would be notified soon. As of now, around 28 new asymptomatic carriers of the infection have been reportedly found. Asymptomatic cases pose a problem as the patients are tested COVID-19 positive but develop no symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat. However, they pose a risk of spreading the disease to others.
Meanwhile, China's National Health Commission (NHC) reported seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 18 asymptomatic cases on May 18. Jilin province, where the government has implemented strict control measures in the last few days following reports of clusters of cases in Jilin city, reported two cases on Sunday, while Shanghai city reported one. According to official figures released earlier on May 18, the death toll in Hubei province stood at 4,512, including 3,869 in Wuhan. The province so far has reported 68,134 confirmed COVID-19 cases in total, including 50,339 in Wuhan.
After originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed 320,189 lives worldwide as of May 19. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has infected at least 4,894,278 people. Out of the total infections, 1,909,233 have recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities still remain under lockdown in almost many countries and the economy is struggling.
(Image Credit AP)