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World China is testing millions of people in Xinjiang for Covid-19 after one asymptomatic case found

10:51  26 october  2020
10:51  26 october  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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Subsequent testing found 137 Covid - 19 cases , all related to a factory where the teenager’s parents worked. Free testing is being rolled out for nearly 4.75 million people in Kashgar, which is located in the far west of China . As of 2 p.m. local time on Sunday, 2.83 million people had undergone virus

China is once again mass testing an entire city for the coronavirus amid a regional outbreak in Xinjiang province. Around 4.7m people in Kashgar are being tested , with 138 asymptomatic cases found so far. China has been largely successful in bringing infection rates down, but there continue to

China has rolled out mass coronavirus testing for nearly 5 million people and imposed lockdown measures in the prefecture of Kashgar in the far western region of Xinjiang, after a single asymptomatic coronavirus case was reported on Saturday.

a person drinking from a bottle: A medical worker collects a swab sample from a resident in Urumqi, Xinjiang during a citywide testing drive in July. © Xinhua/Zhao Ge via Getty Images A medical worker collects a swab sample from a resident in Urumqi, Xinjiang during a citywide testing drive in July.

The testing drive has so far identified 137 additional cases -- and all are asymptomatic, according to Xinjiang's regional health commission. This is the highest daily number of asymptomatic Covid-19 cases reported in China in nearly seven months.

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Authorities test 2.84 million people after 137 asymptomatic cases found - the first local infections in China since 14 October. China has detected 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases in Kashgar in the north-western region of Xinjiang after one person The Covid - 19 death toll stands at 4,634.

China has detected 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases in Kashgar in the north-western region of Xinjiang , after one person was found to have the “It is clear that lockdowns and other Covid - 19 control measures have created great hardship for many in Australia,” said Jennifer Lang, Convenor of

As of Sunday afternoon, some 2.8 million people have been tested. The government expects to finish testing all of Kashgar's 4.7 million population by Tuesday.

The outbreak is Xinjiang's second since China's initial wave of coronavirus infections was brought under control in March.

Home to 11 million Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority, the region has been subjected to a sweeping security and religious crackdown in recent years. The US State Department estimates that up to 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities could have been detained in internment camps.

a bird flying over a city: Kashgar, once a trading post on the ancient Silk Road, has long been considered the cultural heart of Xinjiang for the region's 11 million Uyghurs. © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images Kashgar, once a trading post on the ancient Silk Road, has long been considered the cultural heart of Xinjiang for the region's 11 million Uyghurs.

During China's initial outbreak, Xinjiang was subjected to strict lockdown measures on par with those imposed in the city of Wuhan -- the original epicenter of the virus, despite having reported only some 70 cases and three deaths.

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The Chinese city of Qingdao is testing its entire population of nine million people for Covid - 19 over a period of five days. The mass testing comes after the discovery of a That is in stark contrast to other parts of the world, where there are still high case numbers and lockdown restrictions of varying severity.

China has defended its controversial policies in the Xinjiang region, just days after the US government announced import restrictions on products coming out of the area. The report says people from rural areas have started their own businesses or got jobs in factories after receiving state support.

In July and August, a cluster of fresh cases in the regional capital of Urumqi brought Xinjiang into a prolonged, stringent lockdown of more than 40 days, drawing backlash from residents on social media.

Many complained that the restrictions were too strict and unnecessarily wide in scope -- covering cities without any reported cases hundreds of miles away from Urumqi. The lockdown was finally lifted at the end of August, only after no locally transmitted cases had been reported for two weeks.

New Kashgar cluster

The first new case in Kashgar -- a 17-year-old village girl working in a garment factory -- tested positive during a routine screening on Saturday, according to authorities. More than 800 of her fellow workers at the garment factory all tested negative, so did her parents and brother.


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China is starting to relax international travel restrictions, and has updated its guidelines and restrictions in As of August 12, Xinjiang had 535 confirmed COVID - 19 cases and 131 asymptomatic cases , and 14 China ’s color-coded health scheme to monitor for COVID - 19 . All of China ’s provincial and

China for the first time publicized a breakdown of people testing positive for the novel coronavirus without outward signs of being sick, revealing that those among them who China continues to detect asymptomatic infections even after new confirmed cases dropped to zero for the first time in March.

All of the 137 additional cases were linked to a factory where her parents worked. Authorities said the girl visited her parents' factory to dine with them in their dormitory on October 17, but did not explain how she got infected or how infections had broken out in that factory.

Kashgar authorities said on Sunday that all schools in the region would be closed until Friday, while shopping malls and supermarkets would remain open.

A resident in Shufu county, where the latest outbreak occurred, told the state-run Health Times that she was ordered by local officials to get tested for coronavirus and not to leave her home on Saturday morning.

"We had no idea what was happening," she was quoted as saying. "News (of the new asymptomatic case) was not announced until the evening, so many of us were very nervous throughout the day."

By Saturday afternoon, word had spread on Chinese social media that the Kashgar airport had been closed. According to Flight Master, a China-based aviation data provider, 33 flights arriving and departing Kashgar were canceled on Saturday, accounting for nearly half of all scheduled flights.

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Live update: Global COVID - 19 infections top 19.8 million , U.S. cases exceed 5 million . Chinese mainland reports 23 new COVID - 19 cases , 15 in Xinjiang . U.S. President Trump signs executive orders for COVID - 19 relief after Congress fails to reach a deal. In a country of five million people , New Zealand has had only 22 COVID - 19 deaths and it has been 99 days since the last recorded case

On Sunday, authorities said the airport had resumed operation, but anyone departing Kashgar must present a negative test result for the coronavirus. On Monday, however, Kashgar airport still saw 69 flights canceled, or more than half the total number of flights scheduled, according to Chinese flight tracker VariFlight.

Stringent measures

Swift and drastic measures such as mass testing, extensive contact tracing and strict lockdown have defined China's response to sporadic local outbreaks since it largely contained the coronavirus midway through this year.

Earlier this month, the eastern port city of Qingdao tested more than 10 million people in just four days over a dozen locally transmitted cases.

But some public health experts have questioned the effectiveness of citywide testing, given that patients are usually identified over a range of time. An infected patient might test negative, then days later test positive -- so hidden cases can't all be caught at once.

"This is just a snapshot, so it definitely will miss a lot of positive individuals," Dr. Jin Dongyan, a virology professor at the University of Hong Kong, told CNN.

Even the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has questioned the necessity of such an exhaustive approach.

"From the scientific perspective of the spread of the infectious disease, there is indeed no need to conduct citywide testing," Wu Zunyou told the state-run news magazine China Newsweek Saturday.

He advised cities to focus testing on the source of the outbreak and radiate to a certain area around it. "When no more cases can be detected, (the testing drive) can be terminated. There is no need to cover the whole city," he said.

Uighur women in China bear mental scars of forced sterilizations .
Mihrigul Tursun’s nightmare began in March 2017. © Provided by Washington Examiner She returned from Egypt, where she had been living and working, to Xinjiang, a province in the western part of China. She was born and raised in Xinjiang as part of the ethnic Muslim group there known as Uighurs. At the time, Tursun had triplets who were two months old, and she was returning to Xinjiang so that her relatives could help her raise them. Upon arriving in Xinjiang, Chinese police detained her, took away her children, and then sent her to a detention center.

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