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Wuhan Plans To Test All 11 Million Residents After Six New Coronavirus Cases Were Reported

The new coronavirus cases are the first reported in the city, where the virus emerged, since April 3.

Posted on May 12, 2020, at 12:21 p.m. ET

Hector Retamal / Getty Images

Passengers have their body temperatures and a health code on their phones checked after arriving at Hankou railway station in Wuhan.

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China is planning to implement a huge new testing regime in Wuhan after new coronavirus cases were reported in the city for the first time since April 3.

The six new cases were reported in the same housing complex on Sunday and Monday, and according to state media, all arose from transmission within the country.

Hector Retamal / Getty Images

Security personnel stand outside a residential compound in Wuhan where new cases were discovered this weekend.

The cases raise questions over whether the virus has been eradicated in Wuhan, where the coronavirus emerged last December and residents endured a 76-day lockdown.

The government has asked districts of Wuhan — home to about 11 million people, about the same population as Ohio — to come up with plans for testing all of their residents in a 10-day period using nucleic acid testing, according to state media reports. By comparison, the US has been carrying out about 300,000 tests per day.

The testing measures come at a time when China is under pressure over whether it obscured the true extent of the outbreak in its first weeks and over the accuracy of the data it is currently publishing about new infections.

All of the new cases in Wuhan have been categorized as asymptomatic.

The testing should focus particularly on at-risk groups, including older people and densely populated communities as well as communities with floating populations.

Str / Getty Images

Nurses recite an oath during a ceremony marking International Nurses Day, at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, May 12.

Like China, South Korea has reported the emergence of new clusters of coronavirus cases after easing lockdown measures. They’re being closely watched in the West, where countries from Italy to the United States are figuring out how to end lockdowns without ushering in a new spike in case numbers.

China has reported falling numbers of new cases for weeks and has eased controls in much of the country, with restaurants opening and some workers returning to offices.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.