Beijing – Chineseis broken. Six people with symptoms and six more without tested positive for the virus in a city, provoking a dramatic response.
All the cases involved a hospital, the Qingdao Chest Hospital, in the Qingdao city on the east coast of China. The city health commission published the news on China’s social media site Weibo, and the hospital, about 250 miles southeast of Beijing, has closed.
Qingdao is home to about 9 million people, more than New York and twice as many as Los Angeles, and authorities are now testing each one. They are determined to complete this process by the end of this week ̵
Photos and videos touring both social and state media show citizens queuing up to be tested.
Officials in Wuhan, which has a slightly larger population, said all its citizens had been tested just 10 days earlier this year when the virus was revived.
For many, the news of new cases, even after almost two months without any, may come as a bit of a surprise. The whole country recently returned to work after an 8-day national holiday that saw millions of Chinese on the move.
It was the first major holiday since the coronavirus pandemic was brought under control here. About 637 million trips were made during the National Day holiday. To put it in perspective, this is almost equivalent to any American making two trips in the same time frame.
People bought plane and train tickets and congested highways to release unsuccessful frustration after staying home for most of this year.
In the grand scheme, the new cases in Qingdao are a small breakthrough in officially reported coronavirus numbers in China. The World Health Organization, which relies on data provided by the Chinese government, has registered just over 91,000 COVID-19 infections in China and fewer than 5,000 deaths.
Critics say the figures in China are too low – probably fair criticism in a country known to cover up bad news.