Look: Wuhan Took Only 9 Days To Test 6.5 Million People For Coronavirus

Wuhan City in China took less than two weeks to test more than half of its population for coronavirus in an effort to manage the potential resurgence of COVID-19. The progress comes as the U.S. and many other countries struggle to conduct widespread testing as the disease continues to spread. 

Officials in Wuhan announced in mid-May that it will provide free diagnostic tests to all 11 million residents. The city launched the campaign after it saw six new cases of COVID-19, which ended a month-long streak of no new infections, Business Insider reported Wednesday.

"There will not be a new minor peak," Wu Zunyou, China's chief epidemiologist, said in a statement. "We will not allow scattered cases to develop into massive outbreaks."

The rapid testing campaign in Wuhan surprised the world when it covered 6.5 million residents within just 9 days. Providing results in a short period of time is expected to help assure people that daily life can resume safely since the city has already lifted strict lockdown policies. 

Officials required elderly and at-risk people to get tested for coronavirus first, followed by residents who live in densely-populated areas or communities with migrant populations. China’s state media reported that Wuhan has already collected samples from more than 9 million people from May 15 to 23. 

On May 22 alone, health workers conducted 1.4 million tests, which marked the city’s largest single-day testing. In the U.S., the highest daily number of coronavirus tests stands at 441,248, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Just a day after recording its highest number of tests conducted in a day, Wuhan increased its testing capacity by more than 26 times, Bloomberg reported. Authorities deployed thousands more medical workers across the city and went door-to-door to collect samples from elderly and disabled residents.

Amid the massive coronavirus testing, local labs also increased their capacity. The number grew from 46,000 samples per day to nearly 1.5 million samples in Wuhan. 

The campaign has already reached more than 90 percent of the city. City officials warned that the residents who fail to sign up for testing will not be allowed to enter grocery stores or banks and would eventually pay for testing themselves.

China Coronavirus COVID-19 An elderly woman arrives in an ambulance to Wuhan Red Cross Hospital after being transferred from another hospital after recovering from the COVID-19 coronavirus in Wuhan on March 30, 2020. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images