SCIO briefing on scientific research into COVID-19

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on April 27 in Beijing to brief the media about scientific research into COVID-19. April 29, 2020


How many new coronavirus tests have been done in China? Do you think the growth rate of testing in China is adequate or not? Should China carry out mandatory testing? Thank you. 

Jin Qi:

Testing technology, along with the implementation of testing, is an important part of the overall prevention and control of the pandemic, and it is also an important part of our pandemic containment strategy. How many people need to be tested, and what kind of people need to be tested? I think it depends on the prevention and control measures in place at the given time. Currently, new indigenous cases come in single digits, and the outbreak has been generally contained. What are our prevention and control measures now? We are guarding against imported cases from abroad and preventing a resurgence of the outbreak at home. Based on that, the testing strategy is currently "letting those who need to be tested get tested." This focuses on the key sections of the population. Who are they? They include, for instance, those who are infected, close contacts who are symptomatic and asymptomatic, people who come from hard-hit regions, and people who manifest similar symptoms like fever, etc. Also, we must consider people in nursery homes, schools that are recently reopened and hospitals. There are a lot of in-patients in the hospitals. If one virus carrier visits the hospitals and gets others infected, that causes hospital-acquired infection. This is why these people are the key populations that need to be tested. 

In addition, as the resumption of work and production continues, we will also try our best, for the sake of safety, to meet the needs of coronavirus testing in densely populated areas. The current testing strategy, including for those priority groups, aims to help guard against imported COVID-19 cases and a rebound in domestic cases. This is also scientific in my opinion. 

Regarding your question about how many people have undergone coronavirus testing in China, the statistics should come from relevant departments. I'm a scientist, so I have no idea about the accurate number. Overall, our current testing strategy matches that of pandemic control and suits China's national conditions. Thank you. 

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