The epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s Wuhan has tested at least three million of its residents since April and has plans to run COVID-19 tests on the entire population of 11 million. As life is slowly coming back to normalcy in the Asian superpower amid fears of the second wave of the epidemic, Chinese state media reports have stated that Wuhan has set a goal of getting a clear number of asymptomatic cases. The city has even prepared a plan of ten days to test every resident after six new cases of COVID-19 disease were discovered in a residential community earlier.
Last month on April 8, Hubei province along with its capital Wuhan had lifted the several-months long lockdown that was imposed on January 23. The disease had cramped the area with the virus spreading like a wildfire. Since being discovered in the ‘seafood market’, the novel coronavirus has now spread to over 213 countries and territories. The COVID-19 disease has infected over 4.5 million people across the globe and has caused 303,707 deaths.
In Hubei province of China, at least 4,512 people have been reported dead of coronavirus infection, and out of them over 3,800 had occurred in Wuhan in the course of three months. Moreover, Hubei has said it has more than 68,100 cases of COVID-19 disease, out of which at least 50,339 were in Wuhan.
Apart from discovering new clusters of coronavirus in the city, Wuhan has also reported at least 650 asymptomatic cases of the fatal disease. Such individuals are carriers of the novel virus and test positive but do not show any symptoms of the COVID-19 disease including fever, cough, or sore throat. Therefore, they bear a greater risk of transmitting the pathogen onto others.
While Wuhan remained free from infections fro 35 days, the new cases have raised concerns regarding a potential second wave of the epidemic. Wuhan’s health authority in a statement also said that the task of epidemic prevention and control in the city is still very heavy, warning about the risk of a rebound. All the new confirmed cases were earlier classified as asymptomatic which were not included in the overall tally of confirmed coronavirus cases.
With only 91 active coronavirus cases in the country, the authorities now believe that the rising number of asymptomatic cases can create a problem for the authorities who are planning to further ease restrictions to return to normalcy. A top Chinese health expert had said that the government will focus on testing people from high-risk group and areas.