Published: June 3, 2020 3:55:46 pm
China has reported five new coronavirus cases, including four asymptomatic ones while Wuhan, the epicentre of the COVID-19, has not registered any infection, health officials said on Wednesday. According to China’s National Health Commission (NHC), one imported coronavirus case and four asymptomatic cases were reported on Tuesday. It did not specify where the asymptomatic cases were registered.
The NHC on Wednesday said 357 asymptomatic cases, including 276 from Wuhan are still under medical observation. It said, statistics after a latest review and revision showed that as of Tuesday, the overall confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 83,021, including 73 patients who were still being treated, and 78,314 people who have been discharged after recovery.
Altogether 4,634 people have died of the disease in the country. Meanwhile, Wuhan where nearly 10 million residents were tested in a 19-day drive, reported no confirmed or asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Tuesday. The city tested 9,899,828 people between May 14 and June 1, city officials told the media on Tuesday.
No confirmed COVID-19 cases were found in the process, said Lu Zuxun, professor with Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, at the event. During the drive, 300 asymptomatic cases were found and quarantined. All the tracked 1,174 close contacts tested negative for the COVID-19 and were also quarantined, Lu said.
On May 14, the city launched a campaign to offer nucleic acid tests to those not tested before. Officials said the move was aimed at tracing asymptomatic cases and reassuring society as the city gradually reopens its factories, businesses and schools.
Executive Deputy Mayor Hu Yabo said Wuhan spent 900 million yuan (USD 126 million) on the tests, which was “totally worthwhile” as it reassured Wuhan residents, as well as the whole nation, and will help the city bring its social and economic activities back on track.
“After the citywide tests, Wuhan residents, who made great sacrifices during the city’s lockdown will also lift their psychological lockdown,” he said.
Li Lanjuan, a Chinese epidemiologist said the campaign brought the total number of nucleic acid testees in Wuhan to 10.9 million. “Wuhan is now safe, and Wuhan people are safe,” she told the media.
The tests have been met with great enthusiasm from the public, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Wang Weihua, deputy director of the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, said 63 testing agencies in the city have been mobilised to raise the testing capacity.
Hu Ke, a respiratory doctor at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, believed the citywide testing is worthwhile in a city where the virus has infected more than 50,000 people, saying it helps prevent a rebound and ease public concerns.
“The mass tests helped detect asymptomatic cases, who may still infect others. Only by putting them in strict isolation and treatment can the epidemic be stemmed and the whole society be reassured,” Hu said.
Du Zhizhang, vice dean of the Institute of State Governance, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, said the tests will help the world better understand the real situation in Wuhan, while corporate and other employers can use the results to pave the way for accelerating work resumption.
For the residents, the benefits are also psychological. “It’s like issuing health certificates to Wuhan residents, which helps prevent discrimination against them,” he said.
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