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April 8, 2020

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Testing clears 150 in quarantine

More than 150 people in quarantine in Minhang District have tested negative in the past two days.

On Monday, Shanghai announced it would test all passengers who had arrived from overseas before March 31 who were under quarantine but had not yet been tested as they were not required to do so when they arrived.

Liu Xiaohua, director of Minhang District’s center for disease control and prevention, said there were about 1,000 people in the district needing to be tested.

“Most of them are transit passengers who arrived earlier but their final destinations are not Shanghai,” said Liu. “Now many of their destination cities require them to show negative reports of nucleic acid testing upon arrival so the tests will help them in entry.

“Meanwhile, the test will also help Shanghai and China further ensure public safety when they are discharged from quarantine and travel to their destinations.”

Liu said the district’s CDC has a 56-member team responsible for taking samples at local observation sites. The workers from community health centers around the district received training on Monday on the new task of taking samples from up to 200 people per day.

“We arranged their work according to the lab capacity and the time these inbound passengers from overseas had to complete quarantine,” said Liu. “We will ensure all of them can get the result reports before they are discharged.”

A total of 55 were tested on Monday afternoon and received their negative results in the evening.

Another 97 had their samples taken on yesterday morning and received their results, all negative, in the afternoon, while 100 more whose samples were taken yesterday afternoon with results due today.

Liu said that the work is not easy as staff have to take samples from people one by one and change their protective suits, masks, gloves and goggles after taking one sample.

One worker takes sample from a quarantined person while another one or two put the sample into a storage box and collect waste produced during the process which needs special treatment to avoid contaminating the environment and cross-infection.

After leaving, they have to change their suits, masks, gloves and goggles in the corridor and disinfect them before entering another room.

With a large number of samples to be tested every day, it takes more than six hours to get the results.

“But ... all the current untested quarantined people will get the test results before April 12, the last day of 14-day quarantine,” he said.


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