Wuhan authorities said they found no new cases of “silent spreaders” for the first time in nearly two months as the city’s aggressive push to test its entire population appears to have succeeded in breaking hidden chains of transmission.
Of the 60,000 people tested on Sunday, no cases of asymptomatic infections were found, said the Wuhan municipal health commission on Monday. In an ambitious effort to guard against a resurgence of cases, Wuhan is testing its entire 11 million population for the virus and has found some 200 asymptomatic cases in the past two weeks.
The presence of infected people who show no outward signs of being sick but can nonetheless infect others has been an obstacle in worldwide efforts to contain the coronavirus, and a major reason why the pandemic spread so widely and quickly. In countries where testing remains inadequate, there is no way to detect such carriers and isolate them before they infect others.
In identifying the city’s asymptomatic carriers, Wuhan’s testing blitz could allow the city where the virus first emerged to eradicate the pathogen from its population. But its method is likely out of reach for other countries and even bigger Chinese cities as it requires a massive mobilization of resources and the full cooperation of residents.
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