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Chongqing Speeds up Mass Testing for COVID-19

By VIVIAN YANYULING CHENDENG ZHANGICHONGQING|Nov 06,2021

Chongqing-As of 14:00, November 5, a total of 2.161 million nucleic acid samples have been conducted in Chongqing for this epidemic, among which 1.148 million tested negative and other results yet to be released, according to a press conference  Friday.

Chongqing is speeding up mass nucleic acid testing for COVID-19 amid the recently emerging COVID-19 local cases, where residents from Yubei District were queuing up for the testings at the Shin Kong Place on November 4.

As of midnight on November 4, five locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were confirmed at Jiulongpo District, Changshou District, Banan District, Liangjiang New Area, and Shapingba District in Chongqing. According to the latest information released by Chongqing Municipal Health Commission, no new local confirmed cases have been reported.

Residents from Yubei District were queuing up for nucleic acid testings at the Shin Kong Place in Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Zhang Deng)

Active responses to nucleic acid testings

“From the time I knew that there was a case of the COVID-19 in Chongqing, I was a little worried about the rapid spread of the virus, which could affect our lives,” said Peng Shengbi, a resident living in Yubei District. “Meanwhile, I received a text message from the community, organizing all residents to carry out nucleic acid testings.”

Peng added, there were multiple testing spots in Yubei District, and she chose the one nearby, which was at Shin Kong Place.

Upon arriving at the scene, she saw her temperature was measured automatically at the entrance. Both her health code and travel code were required to be scanned, proving her health credentials. Everyone was queuing up in an orderly manner with their masks on. 

All residents’ health codes and travel codes were required to be scanned before taking nucleic acid testings. (iChongqing/ Zhang Deng)

“After receiving the notification from the community, people around me were active to undergo nucleic acid testings,” said Peng. “I think the residents’ awareness of epidemic prevention has increased, and most of us are very cooperative for the sake of protecting others’ and our own health.”

 “We don’t have to make any reservation for the testing,” said Peng. “More importantly, it is free of charge.”

As of November 4, Chongqing has set up 18 temporary testing spots and 181 sampling stations. As of 19:00 on the same day, 21,521 nucleic acid samples have been completed, of which 1,262 tested negative, and 20,259 still had their results pending.

Tested over 5,000 people per day in one spot

“Nucleic acid testing is a vital way to identify the infected and prevent the epidemic from spreading,” said Cai Lufeng, Vice President of the Second People’s Hospital of Yubei District. “Since the establishment of the testing spot at Shin Kong Place yesterday morning, as of this morning, we have tested over 5,000 people, and it is expected that today’s tested volume will be close to 5,000 as well.”

Cai told us, approximately half of people’s testing results could be released each day. So far, none have tested positive.

Meanwhile, the on-site medical staff ensured that there were no patients with fever or respiratory symptoms among the personnel entering the site. “We urged those queuing up for the test to wear masks, keep at least one meter apart, and avoid chitchat,” said Cai.

All medical wastes were also carried out in strict accordance with waste disposal standards. “Up to now, we have made sure that no waste is left, so there are no doubts about the relevant hygiene issues,” said Cai.

A medical worker took a swab sample from a man for a COVID-19 nucleic acid test. (iChongqing/ Zhang Deng)

Why Shin Kong Place?

According to He Xiaoqin, Secretary of Anjiazui Community, Longxi Subdistrict, Yubei District, Shin Kong Place is the largest shopping mall in Yubei, easy for residents to find.

“As an open-air plaza, we have also considered that it has good air circulation and a wide venue for conducting nucleic acid testings,” said He. “We set up a testing spot at Shin Kong Place also because the transportation here is convenient, whether it is by rail transit, bus, or taxi.”

Shin Kong Place on-site environment. (iChongqing/ Chen Yuling)

China’s COVID-zero strategy has mainly proved successful. The country has recorded 5,696 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, a fraction of the toll that much smaller and less densely populated places like the U.S., where over 751,000 people have died from COVID-19.

As of 14:00 on November 5, a total of 28,465 primary contacts had been traced, 27,585 of whom have been released from medical observation, while 880 remain pending further notice.

2.161 million samples had been taken for nucleic acid testing as of 14:00 November 114,800of which have produced negative results, while the rest are currently pending.

(Shi Jiaqi, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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