CLICK TO SHARE
Earlier this month, Chinese authorities announced plans to test all 11 million people in Wuhan within ten days, a plan they referred to as “ten days of mass battle.” This was prompted by the discovery of a half dozen new cases of the virus in one apartment building. In the end they didn’t quite get it done in ten days. They did however test about 9 million people using a technique called sample pooling:
Most of those nine million samples have already been processed, according to a daily record of nucleic-acid tests by Wuhan health authorities. In total, they said, the mass testing identified 180 asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus, who were put under quarantine and monitored for symptoms. Just one of those cases was later recategorized as a confirmed case…
While falling slightly short of its ambitious target of testing everyone in the city, Wuhan was nonetheless able to test so many people so quickly by adopting an approach known as “sample pooling,” used earlier in the U.S. and Germany to track Covid-19, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Using sample pooling, Wuhan authorities collected samples one by one from citizens, and then processed five to 10 of them at once in a single nucleic-acid test.
So by combining ten samples into one test, they only had to perform about 900,000 tests, which is pretty doable in a week. In the U.S. we’re currently testing around 350,000 to 400,000 people per day. So we could use a similar technique to run tests on a similar-sized city in about 3 days. The collection of millions of individual samples is what would take all the time.
If you don't see any comments yet, congrats! You get first comment. Be nice and have fun.
CLICK TO SHARE