Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province where the COVID-19 pandemic originated last December, will not charge residents as the city moves to expand its nucleic acid tests to cover every individual who has not been tested for the novel coronavirus.
The city's health commission said in a statement on Monday that the costs of the tests will be borne by the district and municipal governments, and no personal payment was required, reports Xinhua news agency.
Last week, the provincial capital had announced its plan to expand nucleic acid tests in order to detect asymptomatic cases, or people who show no clear symptoms despite carrying the virus.
The decision was made as the city continued to report daily increases of asymptomatic infections, raising public concerns as Wuhan reopened factories, businesses and schools.
The testing will give priority to residential compounds that had previously reported infections, as well as old and densely populated buildings.
Children under six were not required to take the tests.
To minimize cross-infection risks, the commission said they will set up open-air testing sites in residential compounds and remind residents to maintain distance when lining up for the tests.
Door-to-door sampling can be arranged for those who have trouble visiting the testing sites, it said.
Earlier this month, Wuhan reported six new COVID-19 cases, ending the zero-increase record it had held since April 4.
All of the new infections were previously asymptomatic cases from one old residential compound.