The Chinese port city Qingdao announced plans to test all its 9.5 million residents for the coronavirus after a cluster emerged at a hospital.
Twelve positive cases have been identified, half of them asymptomatic, Qingdao’s municipal hospital said in a statement. All 12 are linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital, which has been locked down across departments.
The decision to test all Qingdao’s residents reflects authorities’ hope of quickly containing China’s largest outbreak in months. Beijing has touted its near-elimination of the virus within its borders after the virus emerged in Wuhan late last year.
The outbreak emerged in a holiday period of heavy travel in China, complicating contact-tracing efforts.
Some 4.5 million tourists traveled through Qingdao over the China National Day holiday Oct. 1-8, according to official figures. Qingdao is a popular tourist destination in northeast China, famous for its seafood and beer.
Before the National Day holiday, domestic tourists had been assured it was safe to visit Qingdao, despite the infection of two port workers and samples of imported seafood having tested positive for the coronavirus.
Other areas of China are on watch. Health authorities in Dalian, another port city in China’s northeast, issued a notice on Sunday advising against travel to Qingdao.