China has locked down a city on the border with Myanmar and ordered all its residents to be tested for Covid-19 after plenty of people infected with the coronavirus illicitly entered the city from the neighbouring country.
Official media reported that “wartime” anti-epidemic measures have been put in place in Ruili city with over 200,000 people in southwest China’s Yunnan province after three coronavirus infections were detected.
All Ruili residents have been directed to stay indoors as native authorities are expected to begin mass nucleic acid tests for them.
Screening for unlawful immigrants from Myanmar will be carried out in communities, shops, restaurants and construction sites.
Transport connections have been snapped and residents have been ordered not to leave the city until further notice. Outsiders aren’t being allowed within city limits.
Business and businesses, aside from those dealing in fundamental services and products such as pharmacies and food markets, have been closed.
The infections travelled from Myanmar and Chinese authorities would “crack down on unlawful immigrants”, native officials said late on Monday.
But even so Ruili, no less than eight border prefectures and 25 border counties in the province must enter wartime status immediately, enhancing anti-epidemic measures and border management to prevent imported cases, native officials were quoted as saying by official media.
Chinese media reports said authorities were mobilising residents to outline “any unlawful border crossings in a well manner, stating that assistance in any form, including the provision of shelter for unlawful trespassers, is strictly prohibited”.
News agency AFP quoted Yang Bianqiang, vice mayor of Ruili, as saying that the city would repatriate those who cannot verify their time of arrival into China, referring to those who “haven’t any constant residence and haven’t any constant place to work”.
Beijing had shut a border crossing with Myanmar in April after infighting in the country had spilled over into a Chinese province.
Myanmar is an important a part of China’s Belt and Street Initiative. It was once the final country that Chinese President Xi Jinping had visited, in the third week of January, before the Covid-19 outbreak all but shut international trip out of China.
China has in large part controlled the Covid-19 pandemic in the country aside from plenty of localised outbreaks, including in Beijing, in recent months.
The coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan final year, before triggering the pandemic and affecting economies around the globe.
As of Monday, the complete number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the mainland reached 85,202. Altogether, 80,426 people have been discharged and 4,634 have died from the disease on the mainland, the national health commission said in its day-to-day update on Tuesday.
Eight new imported Covid-19 cases were reported on Monday, taking the complete number of imported infections to 2,653.