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China curbs fresh coronavirus infection wave by testing 2.5million

A NEW outbreak of coronavirus that infected more than 200 people in Beijing is on the wane, Chinese authorities said yesterday.

It comes after health officials mobilised vast resources to test nearly 2.5million, more than a tenth of the city’s population, in 11 days.

A dozen cases were reported across the country yesterday, down from 22 the day before. The number of new infections in the capital dropped from 13 to seven.

The huge Beijing testing operation was carried out between June 12 and Monday of this week.

Officials began by screening people at markets linked to the outbreaks and in surrounding areas. They then expanded to include everyone from restaurant staff to the city’s 100,000 delivery workers.

China said ‘big data’ — likely to be a reference to mobile phone records — was used to find people who had been near the markets.

The vast majority tested negative but those found to be infected included a courier who had been delivering groceries from supermarkets. A single inflatable mobile lab can handle 30,000 tests a day, according to the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Meanwhile, cases elsewhere in the world are surging.

India reported its worst daily increase of nearly 16,000.

And Mexico, where testing rates have been low, also set a record with more than 6,200 new cases.

South Korea, which successfully tamed its first wave of infections, is seeing another rise.

While the first outbreak centred on its fourth-largest city Daegu, the new one threatens the populous Seoul region, which has seen 40 to 50 new cases a day for two weeks. It follows a rise in public activity after social distancing was eased.