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China plans to implement a huge new testing regime in Wuhan, following new coronavirus cases have been reported in the city for the first time since April 3.
The six new cases were reported in the same housing complex on Sundays and Mondays and, according to state media, all were broadcast within the country.
The cases raise questions about whether the virus was eradicated in Wuhan, where the coronavirus emerged last December and residents suffered a 76-day blockade.
The government asked Wuhan districts – home to about 11 million people, roughly the same population in Ohio – to come up with plans to test all of its residents over a 10-day period using nucleic acid tests, according to state media reports. In comparison, the US been doing about 300,000 tests per day.
The test measures take place at a time when China is under pressure about whether the true extent of the outbreak has been obscured in the first few weeks and about the accuracy of the data it is currently publishing on new infections.
All new cases in Wuhan were categorized as asymptomatic.
The test should focus particularly on risk groups, including the elderly and densely populated communities, as well as communities with fluctuating populations.
Like China, South Korea reported the emergence of new clusters coronavirus cases after facilitating blocking measures. They are being watched closely in the West, where countries from Italy to the United States are figuring out how to end the blockages without introducing a further increase in case numbers.
China has seen a drop in the number of new cases for weeks and has facilitated control in much of the country, with the opening of restaurants and some workers returning to offices.