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

journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-08, 04:30 authored by S Cao, Y Gan, C Wang, M Bachmann, S Wei, J Gong, Y Huang, T Wang, L Li, K Lu, Heng JiangHeng Jiang, Y Gong, H Xu, X Shen, Q Tian, C Lv, F Song, X Yin, Z Lu
© 2020, The Author(s). 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.


We would like to thank all institutions and all citizens in Wuhan for their support for citywide nucleic acid screening work. We also would like to thank the Wuhan city government for this citywide nucleic acid testing, sampling and management, and thank the big data and investigation group of COVID-19 prevention and control institution in Wuhan (the data and investigation group of Wuhan Municipal Health Commission) for their efforts in the data collection. In addition, we would like to thank the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 18ZDA085) for supporting the fund.


Publication Date



Nature Communications





Article Number



7p. (p. 1-7)


Nature Publishing Group



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