4 million out of 9 million people screened in two days in Qingdao

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Four million samples were taken in two days in Qingdao (east), a Chinese metropolis which is organizing an express screening of its 9 million inhabitants after the discovery of a mini-outbreak of coronavirus, authorities said on Tuesday.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

In this port city, cradle of “Tsingtao” beer, lines of people going to be tested have formed in the streets. The town hall does not want to take any risk since the discovery this weekend of three positive cases.

While many countries struggle to carry out large-scale screening, health workers in Qingdao, dressed in full protective suits, quickly set up medical tents all over the city.

Residents have been informed of the test point closest to their homes by the local administration in their neighborhood, which is also responsible for organizing the arrival of people at the various sites.

“As of October 13 (Tuesday) at 3:30 p.m. (07:30 GMT), 4,235,438 samples have been taken from all over the city,” said an official from the town hall.

“A total of 1,945,252 results have been obtained so far (…) and no (new) positive case has been discovered,” he stressed at a press conference.

4 million out of 9 million people screened in two days in Qingdao

Authorities in Qingdao launched a campaign on Sunday to collect samples from all 9.4 residents within five days, after three positive cases appeared the same day in a hospital.

It will probably take a little longer to get all of the results.

Since the emergence of this outbreak in the seaside resort, which organizes a popular Beer Festival every summer, a total of 12 cases have been identified (six patients and six asymptomatic people), according to the municipal health commission.

China, where the virus was spotted in December, says it has largely contained the epidemic on its soil. It only reports a handful of new patients each day, almost all from abroad.

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