The northern Chinese city of Harbin is paying $1,570 to anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 - provided they show up independently without having to be contact traced.
This new plan by the city's government will reward those who actively come forward to get tested for COVID-19 when they display symptoms, per Chinese state-owned media, The Beijing News.
According to a city-wide notification on December 4 seen by Insider, the Harbin government is looking to reward only those who come forward unprompted.
"We advise residents to take note of news of where positive COVID-19 cases are surfacing. If you display COVID-19 symptoms like a fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, loss of smell or taste, muscle aches, or diarrhea, do not self-medicate. Wear a mask and head to your nearest clinic, and tell us where you've traveled to and who you've come into contact with," read the notice.
"If you come forward independently after feeling symptoms and visit a medical institution to see a doctor and explain your circumstance, those who test positive for COVID-19 will be rewarded with 10,000 Chinese yuan," the notice said.
While this might, at first, seem like an astronomical sum for a city to put up for just one COVID-19 test, Harbin has consistently detected less than 10 cases per day over the last week.
On December 5, the city reported seven new coronavirus cases. However, these individuals are unlikely to receive a monetary reward because they were rounded up through routine testing and contact tracing.
While China's reported case numbers have been consistently low since its initial Wuhan outbreak, the country does not include patients who test positive for the virus but are asymptomatic in its official tally.