Wuhan residents fear coronavirus testing could rekindle disease

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: May 16, 2020, 11.27 AM(IST)

File Photo Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Safety has become a hot topic on social media groups among the 11 million residents of Wuhan, people converged on open-air test sites at clinics and other facilities. 

As Wuhan, the Chinese city where the COVID-19 pandemic began, cranked up testing after five of its residents tested positive for the novel coronavirus, some residents crowding the test centres expressed concern on Saturday that the very act of getting tested could expose them to the coronavirus.

Safety has become a hot topic on social media groups among the 11 million residents of Wuhan, people converged on open-air test sites at clinics and other facilities. 

Many said, though, that they support the voluntary campaign.

Wuhan health authorities sprang back into action after confirming last weekend the central Chinese city's first cluster of new infections since it was released from virtual lockdown on April 8.

The new cases - all of them people who had previously shown no symptoms of the disease - spurred Wuhan authorities to launch a citywide search for asymptomatic carriers of the virus, aiming to gauge the level of COVID-19 risk.

"Some people have expressed worry in the (social media) groups about the tests, which require people to cluster, and whether there's any infection risk," said one Wuhan resident who asked not to be named.

"But others rebutted those worries, saying such comments are not supportive of the government."

The unprecedented scale of testing indicates the official level of concern, some experts say. Others say it is an extremely costly exercise and question its effectiveness.

China has confirmed 82,941 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday and 4,633 deaths. The government does not include people found to be asymptomatic carriers of the virus in its tally and does not publish a cumulative number of asymptomatic cases.

(With inputs from Reuters) 

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