The epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak in China, Wuhan says over 3 million residents have been tested for the pathogen since April.
The State Media stated that tests will continue and this time will be focused on the rest of its 11 million population.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported that the test, upon completion, is to help give the authorities a clear indication of the number of asymptomatic cases as businesses and schools reopen.
Priority will be given to residents who have not been tested before, people living in residential compounds that had previous cases of infection, as well as old or densely populated estates, Xinhua said, citing a Wuhan government meeting.
Fears of a second wave of infections flared over the weekend after Wuhan reported a cluster of infections, the first since a virtual lockdown on the city was lifted on April 8, raising fears of a second wave. The latest infections were previously asymptomatic cases, people who had the virus but showed no symptoms such as a fever.
Reuters, citing an internal document to district officials, reported on May 11 that the city planned to conduct the campaign of city-wide nucleic acid tests over 10 days. That would entail millions of tests being conducted in a narrow time frame.
Wuhan conducted a total of 1.79 million tests from April 1 to May 13, according to Reuters calculations based on daily reports published by the city’s health commission.
If Xinhua’s report that 3 million tests have been conducted since April also uses figures from the health commission, it would suggest that up to 1.2 million tests were administered on May 14 alone.
The health commission will publish the May 14 figures later on Friday.
Recently, Wuhan has detected between several and more than a dozen asymptomatic infections every day.
Some experts say the mass testing is unprecedented in scale and shows the level of concern. Others warn on potential testing errors due to the sheer size of the sampling.