Q&A for mass citywide nucleic acid testing

Han Jing
Shanghai launched the first-ever citywide nucleic acid testing on Monday. The city's disease control departments and health commissions answer some of the most asked questions.
Han Jing

Shanghai launched the city's first-ever citywide nucleic acid testing on Monday. The city's disease control departments and health commissions from various districts answered some of the most asked questions.

Q: Why are we doing this citywide?

A: The main task this time is to completely eliminate risks, cut off transmission chains, control the pandemic from further spread and achieve the goal of dynamic zero-COVID as soon as possible.

Q: Why should we take another nucleic acid test if we have already taken an antigen self-test a day earlier?

A: The antigen test results are an important addition to the nucleic acid testing, enabling us to find people who have COVID-19 sooner, make quarantine arrangements and review the results by nucleic acid testing as quickly as possible.

Q: What about the results from antigen tests?

A: An estimated 10 million people + were tested on April 3 as a second batch in the Puxi area. We have already found some residents with abnormal test results and carried out nucleic acid tests to confirm those results.

Q: What should we pay attention to in regard to the new round of nucleic acid testing?

A: Residents are advised to register and save the QR codes in advance. People should go to testing sites in groups when instructed to do so while wearing masks, staying two meters away from others while lining up for the test and not gathering or chatting. Residents should return home while wearing masks as soon as they complete the test.

Q: What if someone in my residential compound refuses to have the test?

A: Individuals who are only concerned about self-interests and convenience have violated the pandemic prevention and control rules, disturbed public order and affected other people's work and lives. The city's public security bureau has already punished some violators, including people who have refused to be tested, left their locked-down compounds without permission and failed to wear masks. Residents can report violators to their neighborhood committees.

Q: Why is it still not my turn to have the test while my relatives and friends have all completed theirs?

A: The test period is expected to last for 36 hours to cover every one. Please wait patiently if it's not your turn yet. You can contact the local health commission if you haven't been informed about the test when testing ends in your area.

Q: Why are some people tested by mixed tubes and others by a single tube?

A: If someone has tested positive (via either antigen rapid test or nucleic acid test) in your residential building, others should be tested by a single tube to ensure early detection and treatment. People in other non-risky areas are tested by mixed tubes to enhance efficiency.

Q: Who can have door-to-door nucleic acid tests?

A: The elderly, weak, sick and disabled people, as well as those unable to move freely are entitled to have such service in most of the city. Residents can contact their neighborhood committees if they have any special needs. People living in buildings where someone tested positive are also covered by the service in order to prevent cross infection.

Q: I'm a volunteer interacting with people every day. Should I be tested more frequently?

A: Yes. People working in key positions should have a test every two days. You can have the test (both antigen and nucleic acid) more often based on the actual situation.

Q: Are there any measures to prevent cross infection during the mass testing?

A: Medical staff carrying out the tests, people responsible for supply and delivery, and volunteers are all required to wear protective gear. The disease control department has devised prevention and control requirements on the basis of possible risks for people involved as regards to their contacts, articles they touch and the environment they are in.

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