Chinese officials have ordered all 11 million residents of Wuhan to be tested for Covid-19, after new cases emerged in the city for the first time in more than a year.
On Tuesday the national health commission reported eight cases in Wuhan, the city where Covid-19 was first detected in late 2019, before spreading around the world.
The cases – three of which were symptomatic and five asymptomatic – were among 84 new cases reported across China in the 24 hours to Monday evening. On Tuesday, Wuhan health official Li Tao said they were “swiftly launching comprehensive nucleic acid testing” of all 11 million residents.
They are believed linked to a growing outbreak of the Delta variant that has reached more than 20 cities, across more than a dozen provinces in recent weeks, including the capital Beijing and flood-hit Zhengzhou Millions of people have been confined to their homes as the country tries to contain its largest coronavirus outbreak in months with mass testing and travel curbs.
Wuhan’s cases, which include seven reported on Monday detected among the city’s migrant workers, are the first local transmissions in the city since it contained the world’s first major Covid-19 outbreak in 2020.
In January last year the city was put under a strict lockdown which went for 76 days. The restrictions on Wuhan and its population alarmed the world, but when the virus spread they were soon replicated by numerous countries as a key outbreak response measure.