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

“There were 10,652,513 eligible people aged ≥6 years in Wuhan (94.1% of the total population). The nucleic acid screening was completed in 19 days (from May 14, 2020 to Jun 1, 2020), and tested a total of 9,899,828 persons from the 10,652,513 eligible people (participation rate, 92.9%). Of the 9899,828 participants, 9,865,404 had no previous diagnosis of COVID-19, and 34,424 were recovered COVID-19 patients.

The screening of the 9,865,404 participants without a history of COVID-19 found no newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, and identified 300 asymptomatic positive cases with a detection rate of 0.303 (95% CI 0.270–0.339)/10,000. The median age-stratified Ct-values of the asymptomatic cases were shown in Supplementary Table 1. Of the 300 asymptomatic positive cases, two cases came from one family and another two were from another family. There were no previously confirmed COVID-19 patients in these two families. A total of 1174 close contacts of the asymptomatic positive cases were traced, and they all tested negative for the COVID-19. There were 34,424 previously recovered COVID-19 cases who participated in the screening. Of the 34,424 participants with a history of COVID-19, 107 tested positive again, giving a repositive rate of 0.310% (95% CI 0.423–0.574%).

Virus cultures were negative for all asymptomatic positive and repositive cases, indicating no “viable virus” in positive cases detected in this study.

All asymptomatic positive cases, repositive cases and their close contacts were isolated for at least 2 weeks until the results of nucleic acid testing were negative. None of detected positive cases or their close contacts became symptomatic or newly confirmed with COVID-19 during the isolation period. In this screening programme, single and mixed testing was performed, respectively, for 76.7% and 23.3% of the collected samples. The asymptomatic positive rates were 0.321 (95% CI 0.282–0.364)/10,000 and 0.243 (95% CI 0.183–0.315)/10,000, respectively.

The 300 asymptomatic positive persons aged from 10 to 89 years, included 132 males (0.256/10,000) and 168 females (0.355/10,000). The asymptomatic positive rate was the lowest in children or adolescents aged 17 and below (0.124/10,000), and the highest among the elderly aged 60 years and above (0.442/10,000) (Table 1). The asymptomatic positive rate in females (0.355/10,000) was higher than that in males (0.256/10,000).”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w

https://web.archive.org/web/20210115065316/https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w