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State Council Inter-Agency Task Force Requires Nucleic Acid Testing for All Key Groups and Voluntary Applicants

2020/06/09

The general office of the State Council inter-agency task force released the Opinion on the Implementation of Advancing COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing on 8 June. According to the document, NAT must cover all key groups and all voluntary applicants, and disease control agencies should conduct sampled checks for disease monitoring purpose and epidemiological investigation among the general public periodically.

The Opinion puts forward explicit requirements for increasing the capacity and expanding the coverage of the nucleic acid testing (NAT). More testing will not only help consolidate COVID-19 containment success and protect people's health, but also facilitate the necessary flow of people and the re-opening of businesses and schools. It is a crucial method to forestall both case import and domestic resurgence. The document also highlights the need to expand testing coverage as the first priority for ensuring early detection, reporting, quarantine and treatment in regularized containment efforts, as NAT makes early detection and targeted response possible, thus paving the way for the early and full restoration of life and production.

The Opinion requires that NAT must cover all key groups and all voluntary applicants. According to the document, key groups are identified as close contacts, inbound international travelers, fever clinic patients, new inpatients and their caregivers, staff members of medical institutions, inspection and quarantine officials at ports and border check facilities, staff members of correctional facilities, and employees of social welfare facilities including care homes. The Opinion also noted that different localities may identify the priority groups for taking NAT and make dynamic adjustments based on their actual conditions.

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