" as="other"> Confidence boosting city-wide testing: China Daily editorial - MyBioGate Global COVID-19 Resources Platform

Workers in protective suits collect swabs from senior high school students for nucleic acid tests at Hubei Wuchang Experimental High School before the students are set to return to campus on May 6, in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province, April 30, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Published: May 18, 2020 From China Daily

The decision to arrange nucleic acid tests for all the residents in Wuhan who have not been tested before is a significant step in consolidating the city’s epidemic prevention work. It will bolster confidence that the virus is under control in the city, and thus pave the way for the resumption of normal social and economic activities.

To gain the understanding of residents and address any concerns they might have about the testing, the local health commission published a detailed explanation of what is involved on its website in the form of questions and answers on Saturday, stressing that the testing was aimed at identifying asymptomatic cases of the novel coronavirus in the city.

No doubt, sufficient and timely testing holds the key for ensuring the goals of “early detection, reporting, quarantine and treatment” are met.

Considering that multiple places, including Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, have frequently reported asymptomatic cases of the novel coronavirus, testing is the most effective and authoritative measure to detect those infected with the virus who do not show any of the symptoms.

Admittedly, arranging for free testing of all residents in Wuhan is a daunting and costly task. But consolidating the national epidemic prevention and control work is obviously crucial despite the expense. Not to mention that Wuhan’s nucleic acid testing capability is now sufficient for the task.

As the city bore the brunt of the epidemic in China, the testing will not only dispel any lingering fears of local residents, but also reassure the rest of the nation that the government is not resting on its laurels and it is proactively shoring up the anti-epidemic achievements that have been made so far.

Earlier this month, Wuhan reported six new confirmed cases of COVID-19, ending the zero-increase trend it had had since April 4. All of the new infections were previously asymptomatic cases in one residential compound. By providing much needed data on the number of silent infections in the city, the testing will also contribute to the epidemic prevention and control work at large as it will help health workers and scientists learn more about the novel coronavirus and how it is transmitted.

But more immediately, with the nation striving to get life and work back to normal, the scientific test results will help dispel unnecessary fears, prevent discrimination and help boost social morale. How much the nation trusts Wuhan’s effectiveness in putting out the epidemic will have an impact on people’s overall judgment on the national prevention and control work.

Hence, the city’s mass testing will also serve as a touchstone for the effectiveness of the nation’s epidemic control work.

Link : https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202005/18/WS5ec28905a310a8b241156914.html