-- South China's Guangdong Province has been endeavoring to ensure anyone who is required to take a test or wants one can get tested for COVID-19 while accelerating its production resumption.
-- By May 11, the economic powerhouse had completed nearly 5.54 million nucleic acid tests for people with high risks of infection and its daily capacity of nucleic acid tests had reached 230,000.
by Xinhua writers Xiao Sisi, Li Laifang and Hong Zehua
GUANGZHOU, May 15 (Xinhua) -- South China's Guangdong Province had carried out 10.41 million nucleic acid tests as of Monday, covering 6.64 million people as the populous province has been on full alert against COVID-19.
The economic powerhouse has been endeavoring to ensure anyone who is required to take a test or wants one can get tested for COVID-19, amid efforts of work and production resumption.
A staff member looks at the label on a sample at a lab in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, Feb. 1, 2020. (Xinhua)
Every day, there are ambulances and logistics vehicles with samples for COVID-19 tests rushing to Guangzhou KingMed Diagnostics Group Co., Ltd., a leader of the independent clinical lab industry in China. The company undertakes screening tests assigned by hospitals and the government.
"Since Jan. 24, the lab at our Guangzhou headquarters has continuously conducted nucleic acid tests for over 100 days," said Cheng Yating, assistant president of KingMed and general manager of its lab management center. The group's Guangzhou lab had completed tests of more than 2 million samples by Tuesday, with a daily peak of 96,000.
As China's COVID-19 response has entered the phase of regular epidemic prevention and control after winning a decisive outcome in fighting the epidemic, the country is still taking strict measures to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus.
On April 22, a meeting of the leading group of China's COVID-19 epidemic response urged efforts to enhance the testing capability and carry out large-scale nucleic acid and antibody tests, to contribute to implementing targeted prevention and control, protecting people's health, ensuring the reasonable flow of people and comprehensively resuming work and production.
Nucleic acid testing is the prime standard to confirm COVID-19 infections, and the early diagnosis of confirmed and asymptomatic cases is conducive to blocking the spread of the virus, said an official with the Guangdong headquarters for COVID-19 prevention and control.
Staff members do nucleic acid tests at a lab in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, Feb. 13, 2020. (Xinhua)
By March, 99.2 percent of major enterprises in Guangdong had resumed operations. In April, the overall economic operations in Guangdong had reached the level of the same period last year, according to the taxation authority.
"For people who come from abroad or return to work, Guangdong has carried out mass screening via nucleic acid tests for key groups. We have done it at an early date and effectively, which plays a key role in epidemic prevention and control," said Wu Jie, with the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
ENHANCING TESTING CAPABILITY
By the end of Thursday, Guangdong had reported a total of 1,395 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and 194 imported cases, with two patients still in the hospital.
To meet the needs of testing, the number of approved nucleic acid testing institutions -- hospitals, disease control, and prevention centers, and private companies -- has risen from 135 in the early phase to 251 in Guangdong. The province's daily capacity of nucleic acid tests has reached 230,000.
A staff member puts samples into a centrifuge at a lab in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, Feb. 13, 2020. (Xinhua)
Guangdong health authorities have also strengthened administration to ensure the quality of testing by third-party institutions and provided technical guidelines for them.
Businessman Ahamed Al-Yafie received nucleic acid testing near his neighborhood after returning to Guangzhou from his vacation in Malaysia three months ago.
"It is very impressive that COVID-19 has been put under control in China while the country has a population of 1.4 billion," said Al-Yafie.
Authorities in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, said Thursday it will expand the scope of nucleic acid testing to strengthen the control of asymptomatic cases after it has already completed over 3 million nucleic acid tests.
Xu Hongyi, Hu Nayun, and Ma Xiaoran also contributed to the reporting. (Video reporters: Xiao Sisi, Hu Nayun, Xu Hongyi, Hong Zehua; Video editor: Zheng Xin)