China to Test 9 mn after Fresh Outbreak

All 9 million people in the eastern city of Qingdao will be tested for coronavirus by Chinese health authorities this week after nine cases connected to a hospital were identified, the government announced on Monday, reports AP.

With no virus transmissions registered inside China, the announcement broke a two-month streak, while China has a practice of not disclosing asymptomatic cases.

The ruling Communist Party has removed most travel and business curbs, but it still tracks symptoms of infection for passengers and visitors to public buildings.

Authorities have been investigating the source of infections found in eight Qingdao Municipal Chest Hospital patients and one member of their kin, the National Health Commission said.

“The whole city will be tested within five days,” the NHC said on its social media account.

4,634 deaths and 85,578 cases have been reported in China, where the pandemic started in December, plus nine suspected cases that have yet to be confirmed.

Four patients found in the northwestern city of Urumqi in the Xinjiang region on Aug. 15 were the last reported virus transmissions within China. Since then, all the cases identified have been those of travelers from outside the mainland.

The ruling party lifted measures in April that cut off most access to cities with a total of some 60 million people including Wuhan in central China.

Qingdao is a busy port and headquarters for companies including Haier, a major appliance maker, and the Tsingtao brewery. The government gave no indication whether the latest cases had contact with travel or trade.

Travelers arriving from abroad in China still are required to under a 14-day quarantine.

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