Wuhan, First COVID Hotspot in China, to Test Everyone for Virus After Rise in Cases

The entire population of the Chinese city of Wuhan is due to be tested for COVID after local infections were reported for the first time in over a year.

Wuhan official Li Tao confirmed the comprehensive testing plan in a press conference on Tuesday, according to the AFP news agency, which will see all residents undergo nucleic acid testing.

The city made international headlines in early 2020 because COVID was first reported there.

As a result, authorities launched a strict and rapid lockdown that other cities and countries soon ended up following in varying degrees as the virus spread around the globe.

Wuhan emerged from its lockdownin April 2020, around a month after many other countries first entered theirs. The population of Wuhan is thought to be around 11 million people.

Now, the city is set to see its authorities spring into action once more after seven locally transmitted infections were found among migrant workers in the city.

The city is not the only region of China to be affected by recent COVID concerns. On August 2, China's National Health Commission reported 90 new cases of the virus across 31 provinces in the country, 29 of which were imported.

All provincial jurisdictions on the Chinese mainland have issued notices advising people against traveling domestically in an effort to prevent transmission, according to the South China Morning Post.

It reported domestic tourism looks to be hit by recent outbreaks and cited Yu Hui, a hostel manager in Wuyuan, Jiangxi province, as saying 90 percent of bookings had been canceled despite his hostel previously having been fully-booked for the month of August.

He said tourists were being "scared away by the current wave" of infections in the country.

In some regions, communities are being handed travel restrictions because cases of the Delta variant are emerging, BBC News reported on Monday. The variant is thought to have first been detected in the country in Nanjing airport in July.

China is not the only country to be concerned about the Delta variant, which is thought to be more transmissible when compared to other forms of the virus, and is listed as a Variant of Concern by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC data suggests the variant was responsible for the vast majority, 82.2 percent, of COVID cases in the U.S. for the two weeks ending July 17.

Areas such as the state of Louisiana and California's Bay Area have recently implemented new mask mandates.

Wuhan testing
A health worker seen taking a COVID swab sample from a resident in Wuhan in May 2020. The city is set to test its entire population following local COVID cases. STR / AFP / Getty