On Tuesday, Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus was first detected, claimed that a massive testing effort that targets nearly all its 11 million residents resulted in just 300 new cases. All of those who tested positive are reportedly asymptomatic.
According to a Wuhan official, the city completed 9.9 million tests from May 14th to June 1st. The city found no infections among 1,174 close contacts of the 300 people who tested positive for the virus.
“It not only makes the people of Wuhan feel at ease, it also increases people’s confidence in all of China,” said Feng Zijian, vice director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Li Lanjuan, a member of a National Health Commission expert team, said that if they include those tested previously in the new effort, “virtually everyone above the age of 5 in the city of 11 million people” received the test, as reported by Fox News.
“The city of Wuhan is safe,” she said.
Live Science reported that cities in the U.S. could adopt a similar “pooled testing” strategy. They hope these cities can “screen many residents at once and keep abreast of new waves of infection.”
“If you’re surveilling a low prevalence population, it’s a very effective way of finding outbreaks,” said Dr. James Zehnder, director of Clinical Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine. “I hope that the FDA is supportive of implementing this widely.”