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State Council Inter-agency Task Force Issues Plan on Further Advancing Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Testing Capacity Building

2020/09/02

The State Council inter-agency task force recently published the Plan on Further Advancing Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Testing Capacity Building (the Plan). The Plan proposes that by the end of September 2020, nucleic acid sampling and testing capacity should be ensured in Grade-3 comprehensive hospitals and hospitals for infectious diseases across the country, CDCs at all levels, and at least one county-level hospital in each county. It also proposes that by the end of 2020, all Grade-2 comprehensive hospitals should have nucleic acid sampling and testing capacity, the construction of urban testing bases and public testing laboratories be completed, and independent medical laboratories be fully leveraged. According to the Plan, region-based mobile nucleic acid testing capacity will be reasonably allocated and a highly responsive mobilization mechanism will be established, so that all the people in locations where cluster cases occur will be able to receive nucleic acid testing within a short period of time.

The Plan makes arrangements in five aspects:

First, improve daily nucleic acid testing capacity. Localities are instructed to follow the standard of having at least one testing facility for every one million permanent residents or part thereof in urban areas of cities above the prefecture level, and build urban testing bases that are mainly responsible for local testing with the support from Grade-3 comprehensive hospitals.

Second, build mobile nucleic acid testing capacities. With the testing capacity target set at 10,000 samples per day for each laboratory, 100 public testing laboratories will be deployed across the country, each equipped with mobile labs, making the total mobile testing capacity 1 million samples per day nationwide. Efforts will also be made to guide and promote the healthy development of third-party laboratories in accordance with laws and regulations.

Third, set up a region-based mobile assistance mechanism. Eight regions will be designated throughout the country. Within each region, public testing laboratories and large-scale third-party laboratories will be coordinated as mobile testing facilities. Each region will build a mobile testing capacity of 500,000 to 700,000 samples per day, and will be able to test all its population within 5 to 7 days.

Fourth, further improve the capabilities and competence of testing personnel.

Fifth, establish an information management system for nucleic acid testing resources to realize efficient and targeted mobilization and management.

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