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Global Times

Tianjin tests 1.7 million residents in one day amid local COVID-19 spike

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/22 17:52:11

North China's Tianjin Municipality has completed nucleic acid tests on 1.7 million residents in the Binhai New District since large-scale screening started on Saturday morning, after five local infection cases were recently found.

A total of 10 local confirmed cases have been reported in Tianjin, Beijing News reported on Sunday. Among the five newly confirmed cases, four live in a community in the Dongjiang port area, and the other one has been identified as someone who came into close contact with imported frozen hairtail whose packaging tested positive for coronavirus.

The local health commission announced on Friday that it would carry out large-scale COVID-19 screening for all 2.6 million residents in the Binhai New District, setting up over 2,600 testing booths. Testing started on Saturday morning and is scheduled to be completed within the next two or three days, in a bid to track down potential virus carriers in the region.

As of Sunday noon, nucleic acid testing has been completed on 1.7 million residents, carried out by over 7,400 medical workers and nine institutions, People's Daily reported.

One scene in particular at the testing booth melted people's hearts - a 41-day-old baby wrapped in layers of clothes and blankets was taken to the site to receive his first ever nucleic acid test. "We struggled all night before deciding to take him for the test, but as it turned out, everything went a lot smoother than we anticipated," the mother said.

The National Health Commission dispatched a special work team to the Binhai New District on Saturday to examine the communities and hospitals where COVID-19 cases were found and quarantined.

The COVID-19 strain taken from samples of the newly confirmed case in Tianjin shows that the virus belongs to the L genotype of the European branch, local disease control and prevention authorities said.

Tianjin has raised the risk level of contracting COVID-19 at a residential community where several local cases were found to "high." Residents in the community are asked not to leave their homes, the local government said on Friday.

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