The central Chinese city of Wuhan conducted 6,574,093 nucleic acid tests to screen novel coronavirus infections between May 14 and 23, according to the local health authority.

According to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, the city performed 1,146,156 tests on Saturday alone, more than 15 times the figure on May 14, when Wuhan kicked off a citywide testing campaign.

This is to better understand the number of asymptomatic cases or people who show no clear symptoms despite carrying the virus.

The largest single-day number was on May 22, when the city of about 10 million people performed 1,470,950 nucleic acid tests.

The decision to expand the tests to cover all those who have not been tested before was made as Wuhan continued to report asymptomatic infections. This raised public concerns as Wuhan reopens its factories, businesses and schools.Prior to the campaign, the city had completed over 3 million nucleic acid tests.

The commission said the tests are voluntary and free of charge. Priority will be given to residential compounds that had previously reported infections, as well as old and densely populated buildings. Children under six are not advised to take the tests.

The tests have been met with great enthusiasm from the public. Xinhua reporters have seen mask-wearing residents forming long queues while maintaining their distance outside improvised testing sites within communities and in the city’s public spaces.


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