Chinese authorities have locked down a city on the border with Myanmar as the officials declared entering ‘wartime mode’ after detecting two cases imported from the neighboring country.
Ruili, a city with over 200,000 residents in south-western Chinese province Yunnan, Monday reported the new COVID-19 infections, two Myanmar nationals who were said to have illegally crossed the land border.
Ruili was placed under lockdown on Monday evening, with people banned from leaving the city except for ‘special circumstances’, said an official notice.
All residents have been ordered to self-isolate for at least a week.
Businesses and schools across the city have been closed while checkpoints and health workers are placed in residential complexes to check people’s IDs and temperatures.
Xie Dapeng, mayor of Ruili, announced the two confirmed cases during a press briefing on Monday.
A 32-year-old Myanmar woman took her three children and two nannies across the border from Muse, Myanmar, to Ruili on September 3, and stayed at her sister’s residence at the Aoxing Shiji community.
The woman and one of her nannies tested positive for the contagion and were diagnosed as confirmed coronavirus infections on Sunday, the authorities said.
All residents of the city will be tested for the coronavirus as authorities pledge to crack down on the area’s notorious cross-border smuggling trade.
Medical workers check information as they prepare COVID-19 coronavirus testing for residents in Ruili in China’s southwestern Yunnan province on September 15.
All people living in the residential compound where the patients stayed were given nucleic acid tests which all came back negative.
A total of 190 close contacts have also been monitored and under quarantine, according to the officials.
They pledge to crack down on illegal immigrants crossing the border and repatriate those who have unclear arrival records or ‘have no fixed residence and have no fixed place to work’, according to the Ruili government.
Schools and kindergartens across the city of Ruili have been closed following the new infections reported by local authorities on Monday.
Myanmar has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases. On Friday, the country re-imposed tough measures to control the spread of the disease.
China has appeared to have largely contained the virus outbreak as the country has gone a month without new cases of domestic infection.
Last week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping touted China’s role in battling the coronavirus pandemic at a triumphant awards ceremony for medical professionals decorated with bugle calls and applause.
He told the audience that China has acted in an ‘open and transparent’ manner over the contagion while ‘passing an extraordinary and historic test’.President Xi honors medical professionals in the fight against COVID.
The upbeat mood in Beijing comes as concerns grow about a resurgence of COVID-19 across Europe, with France tightening restrictions, cases in Britain spiking and schools resuming around the region in recent days.
Worldwide infections to date now stand at more than 29 million and over 924,000 people have died from the disease, with the pandemic showing no sign of peaking.
But in China, the virus has been all but banished through a combination of lockdowns and travel restrictions earlier in the year that have officials touting the nation as a coronavirus success story.