Chinese authorities will test all 11 million residents of Wuhan for coronavirus by the end of the week after claiming the city has seen just six new cases after a 35-day streak of no reported infections.
“It is important to realize that a decisive result does not equal a decisive victory, lowering the emergency response level does not equal lowering defenses,” Wang Zhonglin, a top official in the Communist Party in Wuhan, told the state-run outlet Changjiang Daily on Monday.
In a teleconference with officials, he warned that “we must not be careless or lax.” Zhonglin said in March that the city’s residents should undergo “gratitude education” to learn how to “thank the communist party, listen to the party’s words, follow the party’s way, and create strong positive energy.”
U.S. intelligence believes that mid-level bureaucrats in Wuhan have been lying about the number of cases, with some experts estimating that the total caseload in China could be close to three million, way above the official count of over 82,000 officially confirmed cases.
On Sunday, the city said it had discovered five new cases in the same residential complex that were all linked to elderly man who tested positive on Saturday. Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the developments would not result in “a new minor peak.”
“We have had the epidemic under control after more than three months of efforts and accumulated considerable experience in both diagnosis and notification,” he stated. “Therefore, we will not allow scattered cases to develop into massive outbreaks.”
Wuhan lifted its lockdown last month, despite city doctors warning that tens of thousands of asymptomatic cases could exist, in comments that were subsequently removed from publication by the government. The Chinese Communist Party then revised its reported death count in Wuhan by exactly 50 percent, an attempt to improve the “credibility of the government.”