June 2, 2020 / 9:17 AM / a month ago

No new COVID sufferers, 300 asymptomatic, after Wuhan-wide tests

FILE PHOTO: Residents wearing face masks line up for nucleic acid testings at a residential compound in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit hardest by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Hubei province, China May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus outbreak began, has found no new cases of people suffering from COVID-19 after testing almost its entire population, and 300 asymptomatic carriers of the virus, officials said on Tuesday.

Authorities launched the vast testing campaign on May 14, and reached 9.9 million out of 11 million people, after a cluster of new cases raised fears of a second wave of infections.

China does not count people who are infected with the virus but do not show symptoms of the disease as confirmed cases.

Officials told reporters in a briefing that there had been no new confirmed cases, and said the asymptomatic carriers had been found not to be infectious; masks, toothbrushes, phones, door handles and elevator buttons that they touched had no traces of virus.

The central city, capital of Hubei province, was placed under a lockdown on Jan. 23. It was lifted on April 8.

Wuhan was the hardest hit Chinese city and accounts for the majority of the 4,634 deaths and 83,022 infections reported in mainland China.

The cost of the city-wide testing effort was about 900 million yuan ($126 million).

The northeastern city of Mudanjiang in Heilongjiang province will also launch city-wide virus testing, the local government said on its website, after finding over a dozen asymptomatic cases.

Reporting by Lusha Zhang, Roxanne Liu and Se Young Lee; Editing by Robert Birsel and Kevin Liffey

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