Authorities in China tested over 7 million people for COVID-19 in a three-day emergency mass testing campaign in eastern Qingdao city, official media said on Thursday.

The citywide drive kicked off on Monday and local authorities had collected over 9.94 million samples for nucleic acid tests by Thursday morning, according to state-run daily Global Times.

Some 7.64 million of the collected samples have been tested, with no new positive case reported so far.

Authorities began the free mass testing campaign for over 11 million Qingdao residents after 12 coronavirus cases were reported in the city on Sunday.

The new infections are said to be linked to the Qingdao Pulmonary Hospital, where COVID-19 patients arriving from overseas are being treated in isolation.

The government has dismissed the head of the hospital and suspended the director of the city’s health commission, according to the report.

China’s National Health Commission said 11 new cases, including 10 imported cases, were reported on the mainland by Wednesday night.

The country’s overall count since last December stands at 85,622, including 4,634 deaths and 80,748 recoveries.

* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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