Wuhan, the epicentre of COVID-19 infection conducted 2,22,675 nucleic acid tests on May 16, the local health authorities reportedly said on May 17. The tests, which are being conducted on a voluntary basis, are a part of a campaign that the Chinese city initiated to look for asymptomatic carriers of the infection. As of now, China has reported 82,954 cases of coronavirus and 4,634 fatalities.
Last week, a large cluster of COVID-19 infections was found afters its release of lockdown measures on April 8. The number of tests carried out on May 16 in the city of 11 million residents was more than the 186,400 tests conducted on May 14-15, and was also the highest since the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission started publishing the data on Feb. 21.
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.
(Image credits: AP)