China tracks entire metropolis after six cases of Covid-19

China tracks entire metropolis after six cases of Covid-19

China was leading a massive screening campaign in the metropolis of Qingdao (9 million inhabitants) on Monday after the discovery of six cases of Covid-19, health authorities said.

The Asian country, where the new coronavirus appeared at the end of 2019, has for several months contained the epidemic on its soil thanks to strict controls, the wearing of generalized masks, containment measures and tracing applications.

Nationally, only a few new patients are counted each day, almost all of them Chinese returning from abroad and placed in quarantine upon their arrival.

But the discovery on Sunday in Qingdao (east) of six cases of locally-sourced coronavirus is fueling fears of a resurgence of the epidemic.

According to local health authorities, all of the infected people appear to have a connection to a hospital in the city that treats Covid-19 patients. But the focus of infection is not yet known.

The discovery resulted in the screening of some 143,000 people to try to identify contact cases.

The town hall announced a massive screening campaign in five districts of Qingdao “within three days” and the entire city “within five days”. Authorities did not say exactly how many people would be tested, however.

A brewing and seaside town, Qingdao is known the world over for its famous “Tsingtao” beer (old transcription of its name). The brewery was created there under German colonial rule (1898-1914).

Every year in summer, many tourists flock to Qingdao for the Oktoberfest, the most important event of its kind in China.

In a country generally free from Covid-19, beer lovers had gathered there in August, dropping their masks to clink glasses.

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