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Shijiazhuang continues testing as case counts climb

By ZHANG YU in Shijiazhuang | | Updated: 2022-11-25 21:58
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A medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident for nucleic acid testing in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, on Nov 21, 2022. [Photo/ThePaper]

Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, will continue to conduct mass nucleic acid testing for the next five days starting on Saturday in six districts hard hit by an ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, a top official of the city said on Friday night.

"The city is undergoing the most difficult time since the COVID-19 outbreaks started in 2020, with an increasing difficulty in curbing transmissions at the community level," Mayor Ma Yujun said at a news conference on Friday night.

The city reported 3,197 new local infections on Thursday, quadrupling the number of infections reported the previous day, according to the province's health commission.

"The number is composed of new infections on Thursday, and also infections detected from Monday to Wednesday that were not confirmed yet," Ma said.

Since Monday, the city has started mass nucleic acid testing in the six districts, including Qiaoxi and Chang'an, which were carried out every other day.

According to Ma, at the time the city had insufficient beds at makeshift hospitals, thus some positive results discovered from Monday to Wednesday could not be re-checked nor diagnosed until Thursday.

Ma added the city has set up 564 spots for free nucleic acid testing, 327 centralized quarantine places, seven makeshift hospitals and six designated hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

As of Friday night, the city had designated 779 high-risk areas, where residents stay at home and are supplied with daily necessities at their door, he said.

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