Residents of Wuhan, China, the city where the worldwide coronavirus pandemic began, are worried that the virus is back despite constant assurances from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that it was all but eradicated.
After a month of claiming absolutely zero infections, the city’s epidemic control center on Monday abruptly ordered every one of its 11 million residents to get tested, even though the latest outbreak is supposedly centered on a single residential compound and involves only a handful of patients.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) spoke to some Wuhanites on Tuesday who did not seem confident that the virus was only hitting one neighborhood in the immense city:
Wuhan resident Shen Boyang said many in the city now fear a second wave of infections.
“It may be spreading widely again,” Shen said. “Regarding the test program, I will only comply if it is at the government’s expense and not my own.”
“People in Wuhan are all talking about a resurgence of the epidemic; I heard that five cases were also confirmed in Shandi district,” he said.
A second Wuhan resident said two suspected cases had also been reported at Dongmin residential compound, where officials were disinfecting the entire area.
Thousands of people have been flocking to hospitals in the city to line up for tests, but at their own expense, sources in the city said.
A third Wuhan resident, Fang Peng, said the details of the new testing scheme have yet to emerge.
“We were also looking at this document yesterday,” Fang said. “It doesn’t say how many people will be tested, nor who will pay for it.”
Mr. Fang dismissed the official report of only one confirmed case from the Changqing residential area, plus a few “asymptomatic” coronavirus-positive individuals who are not included in the official tally of infections.
“You can’t believe what they say, because the actual numbers they report are subject to the internal processes of the Party,” he sighed.
According to Chinese state media, every neighborhood in Wuhan was instructed to come up with a plan for testing all of its residents within ten days.
“About three to five million residents have been tested and proved healthy, and thus Wuhan is capable to test the remaining 6 to 8 million in 10 days,” claimed a biologist from Wuhan University, while other local officials — and numerous worried civilians posting on Chinese social media — expressed doubts that testing every inhabitant of the area would be possible in such a short time frame.
Wuhan officials claim the last confirmed coronavirus infection in the city was logged on April 3.