Daily US Times: After a regional outbreak in Xinjiang province has been identified, China is once again mass testing an entire city for the coronavirus. Around 4.7m people in Kashgar are being tested for Covid-19, with 138 asymptomatic cases found so far.
China has been largely successful in bringing coronavirus cases down, but there continue to be small outbreaks.
Xinjiang is home to China’s mostly-Muslim Uighur minority which rights groups say is being persecuted by the Chinese government.
Residents in Kashgar are not allowed to leave the city unless they have a negative test report and schools also have been closed.
The first case in the city outbreak was an asymptomatic woman – who was revealed to be infected following what Chinese state media described as “routine testing”- working in a garment factory in Shufu county, on the outskirts of the city.
The woman was the first local case detected in mainland China for 10 days.
Widespread testing began on Saturday and uncovered another 137 asymptomatic cases.
Asymptomatic cases are not counted in the country’s official tally of 85,810 confirmed infections. China’s death toll stands at 4,634.
By Sunday afternoon, more than 2.8m tests had been conducted in Kashgar and the rest will be completed within two days, city officials said.
The city is in China’s western Xinjiang province, home to ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.
The province has a network of detention camps mostly for Uighur Muslims, which China says are “re-education” centres needed to tackle extremism. However, rights groups see them as part of a campaign to suppress the culture, identity and language of the Muslim minority.