Virus testing the new normal as China sticks to ‘zero-COVID’

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Beijing, Jun 9 (BNA):  Thousands of coronavirus testing sites have popped up on sidewalks across Beijing and other Chinese cities in the latest development in the country’s “zero-COVID” strategy.
 
Lines form every day, rain or shine, even where the spread of the virus has largely stopped. Some people need to go to work. Others want to shop. All are effectively compelled to get tested by a requirement to show a negative test result to enter office buildings, malls and other public places.
 
Liu Lele, who works for a live-streaming company, has no problem getting tested regularly but said the daytime operating hours don’t always fit his schedule.
 
Regular testing of residents is becoming the new normal in many parts of China. Major cities have been told to set up testing stations within a 15-minute walk for all residents.
 
Beijing and Shanghai alone have put up 10,000 or more each. Some are made up of folding tables and chairs under a temporary canopy, said AP.
 
Others are enclosed square booths from which gloved workers reach out through openings to take a quick throat swab from the next person in line.
 
Many cities including Beijing are requiring a negative test result within the last three days to enter a public place or take the bus or subway.
 
Some have made it a week or 10 days. The tests are free, with the result reflected on the person’s smartphone health app roughly 12 hours later.
 
AHN