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On January 7, a medical worker collected a swab sample from a resident of the Covid-19 test site in Shijiazhuang, China.
A medical worker collects a swab sample from a resident of the Covid-19 test site in Shijiazhuang Municipality, China, on January 7. Yang Shiao / Xinhua / Getty Images

China’s northern province of Hebei on Sunday completed a program of mass tests in a bid to tackle the country̵

7;s worst coronavirus infection in months, according to the province’s deputy mayor, Xu Jianpei.

About 17 million people have been tested while driving – more than 10.2 million in the capital of Shijiazhuang province and 6.7 million in the city of Xingtai, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Mass testing began last Wednesday, as both cities reported the largest local outbreak in mainland China in months.

On Sunday, Hebei Province reported 82 locally transmitted cases of Covid-19, according to the country’s National Health Commission. Among the new local cases, 77 were reported in Shijiazhuang, while five were confirmed in Xintai.

Last week, China blocked Shijiazhuang, imposing some of the toughest measures as the country largely curbed the spread of the coronavirus in March.

Residents were barred from leaving the city and required to quarantine at home for seven days after taking the mandatory Covid-19 test. All public transport has been suspended, major highways have been blocked, railways and bus stations have been closed and flights have been canceled.


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