Shanghai screens over 24mn residents for Covid-19 in one day

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Shanghai has finished the basic collection of samples for nucleic acid testing from its more than 24 million residents in the city’s latest effort to cut off transmission in communities and contain the latest Covid-19 resurgence, local authorities said.

“With the active cooperation of the local residents, the city finished the latest round of nucleic acid sampling work on April 4,” the office of the Shanghai municipal leading group for Covid-19 prevention and control said on Monday evening in a statement.

Shanghai conducted the citywide nucleic acid testing on Monday after a mass antigen testing on Sunday. The city has been placed under temporary closed-off management after surging Covid-19 infections were logged in recent days, Xinhua news agency reported.

Further work, including testing, multiple checks, the transportation of positive cases, and the analysis and assessment of the Covid-19 situation will be carried out in an orderly manner, according to the statement.

After all work is completed, follow-up control measures will be released based on relevant national regulations and the results of the mass screening.

Han Huifeng, a resident of Xuhui district, went downstairs at 9 a.m. after hearing a notice from volunteers through loudspeakers. He queued up and was tested in just three minutes.

He shared his experience in a WeChat group with his neighbours, saying the efficiency had amazed him. More than 2,100 residents of Han’s residential community registered and were tested in just three hours, according to management staffers.

Medics in Shanghai even went door-to-door to take samples for some elderly people and pregnant women, and new moms and their babies were also offered convenient and fast services.

Simon Lichtenberg, a Danish citizen living in Changning district, told Xinhua news agency that 390 people from 176 households in his community had completed testing between 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning.

Amid the resurgence of Covid-19, Lichtenberg has become a community volunteer to help with testing registration, as nearly half of the residents in his community are foreign nationals.

He said the whole testing process has been facilitated.

“This has a lot to do with the participation of community volunteers. We are one family, and our top priority is to overcome all kinds of difficulties caused by the pandemic and tide over the difficulties together,” he added.

Food delivery worker Wen Bao’an visits a testing site on Sinar Mas Plaza in Hongkou district every day. It has been set up for supply workers who are sticking to their posts.

“Everything’s going on in an orderly fashion here, like people maintaining 2-metre social distancing, which makes me feel quite relieved,” said Wen. He spends about 12 hours per day on the road to meet the huge demand for food delivery services and the distribution of other daily necessities.

According to Zhong Xuefeng, who is in charge of the testing site, hundreds of supply workers take nucleic acid testing at the site every day since late March. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to fit workers’ schedules and enable them to plan their routes more flexibly.

More than 38,000 medics from 15 provincial-level regions nationwide have rushed to Shanghai to aid in the battle against the Covid-19 epidemic, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).

Some 27,000 medics are responsible for sampling and testing work, and another 11,000 work in temporary hospitals, according to Jiao Yahui, a senior NHC official.

After a three-hour bus trip, Li Liang and about 40 colleagues from neighbouring Zhejiang province arrived in Fengxian district of Shanghai early Monday morning to join in the sampling work.

All the team members have diapers in their luggage, Li said.

“We all have to wear diapers as we do not take any rest until all the sampling work is

done,” he added.

The city reported 425 locally transmitted confirmed Covid-19 cases and 8,581 asymptomatic cases on Sunday, according to the NHC.

As of 9 a.m. of Monday, more than 92,000 close contacts and more than 111,000 secondary close contacts had been placed under medical observation in the latest resurgence, according to a press conference held by the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.

The commission noted that children who test positive can stay with their parents who also test positive in children’s wards, being treated simultaneously. Pediatric facilities are in place to ensure the professional treatment and care of all children who test positive in the city.

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