As COVID-19 cases continued to increase, on Monday, April 4, China dispatched the military and thousands of healthcare personnel to Shanghai to distribute COVID-19 tests.

The city is undergoing massive testing for nearly 25 million citizens in one of the country’s largest-ever public health responses.

An armed forces newspaper, Xinhua Net, reported that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) dispatched more than 2,000 medical personnel from across the army, navy, and joint logistical support forces to Shanghai on April 3.

More than 10,000 healthcare workers from provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Beijing have arrived in Shanghai by high-speed rail and aircraft, suitcases laden and masked up.

According to Reuters, it’s China’s most significant public health response since the COVID-19 epidemic broke out in Wuhan in late 2019, when the novel coronavirus was first discovered. According to the State Council, the PLA dispatched more than 4,000 medical personnel to Hubei Province, which includes Wuhan, at the time.

Shanghai reported 8,581 asymptomatic cases and 425 symptomatic cases on Sunday, April 3, as part of a two-stage lockdown that began on March 28 and has since been expanded to confine all residents to their homes. On Sunday, residents were also asked for a self-test.

The city has emerged as a test of China’s Zero-Covid policy. This involves testing, tracing, and quarantining all positive cases and close contacts.

The testing exercise takes place on the eve of Shanghai initial claim that the city’s lockdown would be later lifted.

On Saturday, April 2, Vice-Premier of the State Council Sun Chunlan was dispatched to Shanghai by the central government and urged the city to take bold and rapid action to curb the pandemic.

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