China on Sunday sent thousands of healthcare workers, accompanied by the military into Shanghai for mass testing the city’s residents for the coronavirus disease, reported Reuters.

The People’s Liberation Army dispatched over 2,000 medical personnel. Over 10,000 healthcare workers also arrived from other provinces to amp up testing in Shanghai, which is the most populated city in the country.

The city has emerged as epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country. On Sunday, Shanghai recorded 9,006 new cases, of which only 425 were symptomatic.

Meanwhile, China recorded 13,146 new Covid-19 cases, its highest single-day infection count since February 2020, reported AFP. No new deaths were registered.

The surge in cases in the country is driven by the Omicron variant, which was first detected in November.

While the Covid-19 infection tally in China is comparatively lower as compared to the global case count, Beijing follows a “zero tolerance” policy for the disease by enforcing strict lockdowns, conducting mass testing and imposing travel bans.

Shanghai has been under a two-stage lockdown since March 28. The administration has asked residents to consistently test themselves for the infection.

The 25 million, or 2.5 crore, residents in the city are undergoing mass testing and quarantine measures at state-run facilities. Despite most of the cases being asymptomatic, citizens are not permitted to self-quarantine.

The lockdown is likely to be extended and the economy has been hurt from the strict virus containment measures. Children who test positive are separated from their parents. Residents are facing scarcity of fresh food. They have also not been able to go out for fresh air or walk their pets.

On Monday, Shanghai government official Wu Qianyu said that children who test positive for the coronavirus disease can be accompanied by their parents only if they have also contracted the infection. The policy on this measure was being refined, the official added.

Vice Premier Sun Chunlan had visited Shanghai on April 2 and had urged the city to take swift and resolute action to contain the spread of the virus. Chinese President Xi Jinping has also urged citizens to curb the outbreak as soon as possible.

China has so far recorded 14,30,893 coronavirus cases and 12,810 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.