Chinese coastal city Dalian rolls out citywide nucleic acid testing
Published: Dec 22, 2020 05:34 PM

File Photo: VCG

The Chinese coastal city of Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, rolled out three-day citywide COVID-19 testing on Tuesday, the city government announced.

The citywide nucleic acid testing aims to “impede and curb the transmission channel of the epidemic,” local officials said in a statement.

Zhao Lian, from the city health commission, said on Tuesday that residents in Dalian are encouraged not to leave the city, and are required to have a negative nucleic acid test if they do. 

Dalian airport also said that starting from Tuesday, passengers who have to leave Dalian by plane must obtain a negative nucleic acid test within seven days before departure, and are banned from entering the terminal without a certificate.

On Tuesday, Dalian reported two more confirmed COVID-19 cases and six asymptomatic cases. This round of infections in Dalian started on December 15 when four asymptomatic COVID-19 patients who worked as loaders in an import cold-chain company in Dalian were reported. 

Observers said it signals a recurrence of the epidemic in the coastal city this winter.

The Global Times learned that all students in Dalian Ocean University received nucleic acid tests on Tuesday after claims that suspected COVID-19 cases had been found on campus.

Students at the university were asked to stay in their dormitories and classes were suspended on Tuesday. They will start taking online courses on Wednesday. 

The hashtag Dalian Ocean University trended on Chinese social media Sina Weibo, with the topic generating more than 1.4 million reviews as of press time. 

Preventing on-campus outbreaks has been an important objective for the Chinese government, as most universities have been adopting closed-loop management since the epidemic began. 

The university said in a statement via Sina Weibo that all activities on campus were suspended and all teachers would start working from home on Tuesday. It called on students not to spread rumors and wait for an official announcement. 

Some students reached by the Global Times said that students are required to stay in their dormitories and the university will deliver them food.  

The university, located along the northeastern coastline of Dalian, has more than 15,000 students on campus, according to its official website. 

The travel histories of the two confirmed cases are not connected with the university, according to information released by health authorities.

The Dalian anti-epidemic group and the university could not be reached for comments as of press time. 

Dalian had been conducting tests on residents in Jinpu New area, where this round of infections started, the Global Times has learned. 

As of Tuesday, 1.25 million people from the area were tested. Residents of some key streets were given second or third rounds of tests on Tuesday.