Central China's Zhengzhou scrambles to test 12.6 million residents in 6 hours, to nip a flare-up in bud
Published: Jan 08, 2022 01:24 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

China's speed is again on display in Zhengzhou city, capital of central China's Henan Province, in the latest mass nucleic acid testing which started on Friday. Reports say Zhengzhou has completed the sampling of 12.6 million residents in just 6 hours -- 2.1 million people per hour or 583 residents per second.

Observers say this is a swifter response than that of Xi'an's, a city that has reported more than 1,900 cases so far as it has fought the latest COVID-19 flare-up. It shows that Zhengzhou city has obviously learnt a lesson from Xi'an, where some local health officials have been punished for negligence.

A total of 175 COVID-19 cases resulting from virus carriers from Henan have been reported as of Saturday. They have spread from Henan to Shanghai and nine cities in East China's Zhejiang, China's National Health Commission announced on Saturday.  

The source of the epidemic in the city of Yuzhou, which locked down to curb the virus on Monday, was found to be a cluster infection at a local company. Residents living in nearby communities were reported to be infected and there is a risk of community transmission. 

The confirmed cases in Zhengzhou also suggest that local community transmission has occurred.

"So far, every city has its own pre-arranged planning in dealing with COVID-19 based on the local population," Lu Hongzhou, head of the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen and member of the Shenzhen expert committee of national disease control and prevention, told the Global Times on Saturday. He added if a plan is announced, it will be strictly implemented.

For nucleic acid testing, every region has established professional teams. Wherever a resurgence of infections occurs, the local team can respond quickly while neighboring cities can provide logistics help promptly, Lu said, noting "this is the distinct advantages of China's political system."

"And the reason Zhengzhou city is able to respond so quickly this time, I believe, is that is has learnt a lesson from the past and made full preparations for a flare-up," Lu told the Global Times.

Thanks to China's envious speed of response, the country is able to nip any local resurgence in the bud and successfully prevent the caseloads from exploding like the US and other countries, observers noted. 

On Saturday, Zhengzhou city issued a notification ordering all primary, secondary schools and kindergartens in the city to halt in-person classes from Monday. From now on, all Party and government organs, enterprises and institutions at all levels in the city shall properly arrange work to avoid congregation of employees. Also, from noon Saturday, citywide catering businesses will be suspended, and instead, food take-outs will be provided.

The Chinese mainland on Friday reported 95 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, according to the National Health Commission's daily report on Saturday. Of the new local cases, 43 were reported in Henan, including 24 in Zhengzhou. Henan has reported a total of 188 local cases in this round of outbreak, 42 of them from Zhengzhou.

Global Times