Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus emerged late last year, reported no asymptomatic cases on Sunday, health authorities said as the city tests millions of its residents to look for silent spreaders who do not show symptoms for Covid-19 but could infect others.
Overall, China reported the highest daily increase in coronavirus cases in nearly three weeks with 16 new infections discovered on May 31 as the number of imported cases jumped in southwestern Sichuan province; another 16 asymptomatic cases were also reported.
Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, conducted more than 60,000 nucleic acid tests on Sunday, finding no new asymptomatic cases, according to a statement issued Monday by the municipal health commission.
According to data released by the official news agency, Xinhua, Wuhan had conducted 6,574,093 nucleic acid tests to screen novel coronavirus infections between May 14 and 23.
More than 200 asymptomatic patients were diagnosed during the mass testing, which was ordered after a cluster infection broke out in Wuhan a month after the strict lockdown imposed on it on January 23 was eased.
The aim of the testing was to identify asymptomatic patients, quarantine and treat them, and break the infection chain.
According to health authorities, the decision to expand the tests to cover all those who have not been tested before was made as Wuhan continued to report asymptomatic infections.
This raised public concerns as Wuhan reopens its factories, businesses and schools. The city, of some 11 million residents, had completed testing over 3 million before the mass testing began in the middle of May.
No new asymptomatic cases reported for the first time indicates the campaign has seen apparent effects, said a statement from the local health authorities.
The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China now stands at 83,017, while the death toll remains at 4,634.
The National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement on Monday that all the 16 confirmed cases involved travellers from overseas.
They came on a flight from Egypt, and another six asymptomatic cases were found on the same flight.