Chinese authorities announced Tuesday mass coronavirus testing in Wuhan as an unusually wide series of COVID-19 outbreaks reached the city where the disease was first detected in late 2019. Wuhan, a provincial capital of 11 million people in central China, is the latest city to undergo city-wide testing. Three cases were confirmed there on Monday, its first non-imported cases in more than a year.
The city of 11 million is “swiftly launching comprehensive nucleic acid testing of all residents. China is currently seeing one of its biggest outbreaks in months, with 300 cases detected in 10 days. Some 15 provinces across the country have been affected, which has led to the government rolling out mass testing measures and lockdown restrictions. Authorities have attributed the spread of the virus to the highly contagious Delta variant and the domestic tourism season. The National Health Commission said Tuesday that 90 new cases had been confirmed the previous day, 61 locally spread ones and 29 among people who had recently arrived from abroad. Most of the local cases are still in Jiangsu province, where an outbreak started at the airport in Nanjing, the provincial capital, and has spread to the city of Yangzhou, 105 kilometers (65 miles) away. Authorities reported 45 new cases, five in Nanjing and 40 in the city of Yangzhou, which was conducting a second round of mass testing.
China has largely curbed COVID-19 at home after the initial outbreak that devastated Wuhan and over time spread to the rest of China and globally. Since then, authorities have tamped down and controlled the disease whenever it pops up with quick lockdowns and mass testing to isolate infected people.