SHENZHEN will set up more sampling sites for nucleic acid testing in the following days to meet the increasing need of citizens to get a nucleic acid test before the upcoming Spring Festival holiday, according to the city’s health authorities.

The city’s hospitals saw a surge in people looking for nucleic acid tests after China’s National Health Commission announced Wednesday that a negative test result is required for those traveling home to rural areas during the holiday as part of the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A bus driver receives the second dose of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in the Xiameilin community health center in Futian District, Shenzhen, yesterday. Shenzhen began to administer the second dose of the vaccine to drivers and conductors of Shenzhen Bus Group yesterday. By Friday, more than 11,000 employees of the group had received their first shots and 1,400 received the second yesterday. Xinhua

According to the national health authorities, those intending to travel home to rural areas during the Spring Festival holiday must provide a negative nucleic acid test result taken within seven days of departure.

At present, Shenzhen has 324 medical institutions, including 59 hospitals and 265 community health centers, that can offer nucleic acid testing, the Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission said yesterday.

The fees for a nucleic acid test can be paid by medical insurance, and specific charges may differ at each health institution, according to the commission.

Citizens wait in line for nucleic acid tests at Shenzhen Maternity & Child Healthcare Hospital in Futian District. Sun Yuchen

Citizens can make an appointment for nucleic acid testing on the official WeChat account of the city’s health commission “szwjwwx” (深圳卫健委) or through the WeChat miniprogram “社康通” (shekangtong).

It is suggested that those intending to take a nucleic acid test should not eat or drink anything at least two hours prior to the test, so as to avoid nausea and vomiting during the sampling.

It is not advised to clear the throat before the sampling, and to avoid coughing out any secretion of the pharynx (where the virus is concentrated) and thus affecting the accuracy of the results.

A COVID-19 testing site at Longhua District People’s Hospital. Sun Yuchen

Meanwhile, oral anti-viral and anti-infective drugs taken before the testing may inhibit the virus and affect the test results. Those who suffer acute nasopharyngitis and have symptoms such as bleeding and edema in the nasopharynx are not suitable for a nasal swab, the commission said.

After the nucleic acid testing, citizens can check the test results on the commission’s WeChat account, and can print the results at the testing site if a paper version is needed.

Editor/Shao Jingfeng

WeChat Editors/Holly, Jane

Shared with the permission of Shenzhen Daily