China has proposed establishing Covid testing facilities on a super large scale to fight the pandemic.
The State Council’s Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism held a conference call on May 9. It pointed out that major cities should establish nucleic acid testing facilities within a 15-minute walking distance for everyone.
Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan said that as China has entered a new stage of the fight against the Covid pandemic, they should further improve the sensitivity of monitoring and early warning systems.
Sun said, in large cities, nucleic acid testing facilities should be available within a 15-minute walking distance.
According to Apollo News, this would mean constructing testing facilities involving trillions of monetary funds in China.
The era of nucleic acid testing may happen once a day, once every 48 hours, or once every 72 hours.
“Intelligent Valley Trend” is a non-profit private think tank in mainland China. According to its analysis, the concept of 15-minute walk facilities means a circle radius of about 1 km and an area of 3 square kilometers.
So far, Shanghai has deployed 9,000 testing points, and Wuxi has 2,634 points. Hangzhou proposes to build 10,000 testing points.
Zheshang Securities estimates that to achieve a 15-minute walk circle; China has to set up 320,000 testing points, including existing hospitals, across the country. As a result, daily tests will surge to 83 million per day.
A super large-scale and highly complex social experiment will be staged in China’s core economic hinterland. According to public reports, at least 17 cities require testing certificates for entering public places, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Dalian, Nanchang, and Suzhou.
That involves about 200 million people, or 14% of China’s population.
Soochow Securities has painted the worst scenario. If all first-tier and second-tier cities in China implement mass testing, the cost would be about 143.6 billion yuan per month, or 1.7 trillion yuan per year (over 250 billion dollars). It’s a staggering figure.
In China, no city has a public budget revenue of more than one trillion yuan, and there are only 17 cities with a budget revenue of more than 100 billion yuan.
The construction speed of testing sites in large cities is like an arms race. For example, if one testing point is set for every 3,000 people, nearly 170,000 points are needed to cover more than 500 million people in first-and second-tier cities across China.
And these facilities cost money. One is the hardware procurement for the testing points. The other is the labor cost.
The “Intelligent Valley Trend” think-tank concludes that 24, 48, and 72 may become the three most memorable numbers of a generation.