China able for 4.84 million coronavirus tests a day, mass-testing program to be offered to HKSAR
Updated 09:16, 06-Aug-2020
Wu Guoxiu, Bao Hongwei, Pan Zhaoyi

China's coronavirus testing agencies were able to run 4.84 million tests a day, as of the end of July, according to officials on Wednesday, and the Chinese mainland will help Hong Kong roll out a mass-testing program if the special administrative region requests. 

By the end of July, China had conducted 106 million coronavirus tests, on some days hitting three million tests per day. But the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says the country's real testing capacity is even larger.

By the end of July, the national capacity for nucleic acid tests was 4.84 million a day. About 38,000 staff members at 4,946 medical facilities have credentials to provide testing, according to data released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology at a press conference. 

Currently, China is using two types of tests. The conventional test takes four hours for results, with 96 samples processed each time. And a faster test takes just half an hour in time needed. The testing kits have an overall accuracy rate higher than 95 percent, according to an official from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

China has carried out free mass-testing for 10 million people in Wuhan and Beijing, and carried out widespread emergency tests for recent outbreaks in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the northeastern city of Dalian.

The central government is now promising to help Hong Kong residents get tested, as outbreaks in the city threaten to spiral out of control.

CGTN Infographic /Hu Yiwei

CGTN Infographic /Hu Yiwei

"We've already sent a first batch of seven people and three labs from the mainland are getting familiar with the situation in Hong Kong. When the Hong Hong SAR gives a request, we'll provide full support and immediately help out. Hong Kong says it will also build temporary hospitals. The central government will provide technical expertise, the materials and support in construction, at the SAR's request," said Jiao Yahui, an official with the National Health Commission.

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The Chinese government is demanding the whole country further improve its capacity to carry out tests as it prepares for the possibility of any outbreak in the risky autumn and winter seasons. Each township will have a hospital able to carry out testing.

Mobile teams operating nationwide will also be on hand to help out regions in case of an emergency.

In June, Wuhan, once the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak in China, completed a citywide nucleic acid testing of its 9.89 million residents. 

The testing, conducted from May 14 to June 1, was to evaluate the potential risk of a second wave of the virus. It followed a small cluster of infections that reemerged in the city in mid-May, ending a month-long record of zero new cases in the central China city.

Beijing also launched citywide nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 after a cluster of infections erupted in early June.

Twenty-six days after the fresh outbreak began, Beijing rolled out a massive testing campaign to make sure all those in need have been tested, quarantined, hospitalized or treated.