Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China

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  • Shiyi Cao
  • Yong Gan
  • Chao Wang
  • Max O. Bachmann
  • Shanbo Wei
  • Jie Gong
  • Yuchai Huang
  • Tiantian Wang
  • Liqing Li
  • Kai Lu
  • Heng Jiang
  • Yanhong Gong
  • Hongbin Xu
  • Xin Shen
  • Qingfeng Tian
  • Chuanzhu Lv
  • Fujian Song (Lead Author)
  • Xiaoxv Yin
  • Zuxun Lu

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Stringent COVID-19 control measures were imposed in Wuhan between January 23 and April 8, 2020. Estimates of the prevalence of infection following the release of restrictions could inform post-lockdown pandemic management. Here, we describe a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening programme between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan. All city residents aged six years or older were eligible and 9,899,828 (92.9%) participated. No new symptomatic cases and 300 asymptomatic cases (detection rate 0.303/10,000, 95% CI 0.270–0.339/10,000) were identified. There were no positive tests amongst 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases. 107 of 34,424 previously recovered COVID-19 patients tested positive again (re-positive rate 0.31%, 95% CI 0.423–0.574%). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan was therefore very low five to eight weeks after the end of lockdown.


Original languageEnglish
Article number5917
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020

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