China has been largely coronavirus-free since mid-August, with all cases reported by the country being imported from elsewhere. But as of Oct. 11, Qingdao reported a dozen locally transmitted cases, all linked to a hospital treating imported infections, the city’s Municipal Health Commission said in a statement on Monday.
Mass tests have already been carried out at the Qingdao Chest Hospital, which has been locked out, with 114,862 people, staff and patients, testing negative on Monday.
The tests will now be rolled out citywide for the entire population of nine million, repeating the type of mass response previously seen in Beijing and other cities in China where clusters of infections have been seen. detected.
These responses have succeeded in keeping China’s overall infection rate low since the country’s initial outbreak was suppressed in March. It has allowed life to return to relative normalcy, with over 600 million tourists traveling this month for Golden Week, a national holiday around the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The cluster of Qingdao, a city on the east coast with many beaches and popular with tourists, will raise fears of a potential spike in vacation-related cases.
Authorities in the port city said the specific source of the infection was still under investigation.
As of this week, China recorded 85,578 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths from the coronavirus, according to the country’s National Health Commission.