Nucleic acid tests get under way in Wuhan

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Lines of socially distanced people formed at makeshift testing sites set up under tents in parking lots, parks and residential communities.
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Wuhan residents queued up across the city to be tested for the coronavirus on Thursday after a new cluster of cases sparked a mass screening campaign.

Lines of socially distanced people formed at makeshift testing sites set up under tents in parking lots, parks and residential communities as it rained in the metropolis of 11 million people.

“This is a good thing. It’s a way to be responsible toward others and to yourself,” a 40-year-old man said. He had already been tested 10 days before but given Wuhan’s history as China’s worst-hit city, he welcomed a little extra insurance. “If you have the opportunity, wouldn’t you do it again?” he asked.

Wuhan was given a fresh jolt when several new local infections emerged last weekend after more than a month in which none were reported.

Fearful of reliving the virus nightmare, officials have launched a drive to conduct nucleic acid tests on the city’s entire population.

Men, women, children and the elderly filed forward to medical workers in head-to-toe white protective suits and plastic face shields, who recorded their personal details before quickly jabbing a swab into the backs of their throats.

About 1,000 residents of a compound in Qiaokou District were to be tested in groups, according to Hubei TV’s website.

The National Health Commission on Thursday also reiterated stepping up COVID-19 testing and screening to prevent a rebound.

Even animals are tested. All pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan Province have tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

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