China says it will start a city-wide testing campaign after authorities detected cases of the contagious Delta variant in Wuhan, the metropolis where the Covid-19 pandemic is believed to have started nearly two years ago.

On Tuesday, Wuhan’s authorities announced the start of a testing campaign that aims to reach every single one of the city’s 12 million residents amid a new outbreak of Covid-19. According to Reuters, some of the infections are the more contagious Delta variant. 

“To ensure that everyone in the city is safe, city-wide nucleic acid testing will be quickly launched for all people to fully screen out positive results and asymptomatic infections,” Li Qiang, an official in the provincial capital, told a news briefing.

Citizens said local testing sites had been erected in Wuhan residential communities on Tuesday morning, according to the state-funded Global Times.  

On Monday, authorities in the capital of Hebei province reported seven locally transmitted cases, marking the first time an infection has been registered in the city since June 2020.

Infections in Wuhan, as well as the nearby cities of Jingzhou and Huanggang, have been linked with an outbreak in Huaian city in Jiangsu province, said Li Yang, vice director of Hubei’s provincial disease control center.

The official said the new cases in Jiangsu, and the provincial capital of Nanjing, were most likely introduced on a flight from Russia.

Some 414 Covid-19 infections have been registered in China since July 20. Many cities, including Beijing, have registered cases, but it is not clear whether all cases are in fact the Delta variant.

As of Monday, 1.68 billion vaccines had been administered in China.

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