China claims 10.9 million COVID tests in Qingdao City all negative: Taiwan’s Health Minister says “impossible”

Chinese officials claimed yesterday that COVID-19 tests on 10.9 million people in Qingdao City, Shandong Province, had all returned negative results, but Taiwan’s Health Minister, Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), said today that such a result was impossible.

Citywide tests for Qingdao City’s population of 11 million were ordered after a cluster infection of 13 people centered around a local hospital was discovered recently. The cluster was claimed to be China’s first case of locally transmitted COVID-19 in over two months.

The source of the cluster infection was traced back to two dock workers who had become infected after handling frozen imported seafood, health officials claimed.

The citywide tests started on October 12.

COVID-19 testing in Qingdao City, China
COVID-19 tests in Qingdao City, Shandong Province, China. Picture: Xinhua News.

Health officials claimed yesterday that tests had been performed on 10.9 million people, and all had come back negative. Qingdao’s deputy mayor, Xue Qing-guo told state media China Central Television that the risk of community transmission “is basically eliminated.

Taiwan’s Minister of Health, Chen Shih-chung, who also serves as director of the Central Epidemic Command Center, questioned the results today, saying “It’s really great, but how is it possible?”

Speaking at the annual conference of the Society of Public Health at National Taiwan Normal University this afternoon, Chen skeptically asked, “How could all 10 million people test negative?”

“Everyone knows that the (RT-PCR) test reagents return a certain percentage of false negative and false positive results, but the the results of 10 million tests are all negative?”

“This is a great thing, but it is simply an impossible result,” Chen said.

Cover Picture: Composite image from EBC News.

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