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Chengdu residents react to new testing normal

By Huang Zhiling in Chengdu | | Updated: 2022-08-18 21:09
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Tong Kaiquan, a courier with SF Express, at work. [Photo by Huang Zhiling/]

As the city of Chengdu recently stopped giving free regular COVID-19 nucleic acid tests, some locals said the change was acceptable, but others found it difficult to find test sites.

Tong Kaiquan, a 26-year-old courier with SF Express from Xuanhan county in Sichuan province, works from 8 am to 7:30 pm on weekdays in Chengdu, the province's capital.

With a heavy load of mail and parcels on his scooter, Tong finds a site for nucleic acid testing every afternoon to upload test results to SF Express, which requires couriers to test every day.

After the latest outbreak in Chengdu on July 15, the area where Tong delivers mail and parcels had 10 sites for free mixed nucleic acid testing.

As the pandemic was brought under control, people taking tests in on-street locations were asked to pay 3.5 yuan ($0.5) each starting Aug 13.

While Tong considers it acceptable to pay for testing, he sometimes finds it difficult to have a site with a short wait, as the number of sites around the area he works has been halved.

"If I have to queue up for 10 minutes, I would leave because I am wanted by customers," he said.

To adapt to the new situation of COVID-19 prevention, the Office of Chengdu Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters formulated a regulation for nucleic acid monitoring on Aug 12.

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