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Global Times

SW China border ports enter wartime status after two imported COVID-19 cases confirmed

Global Times

By Liu Caiyu and Fan Anqi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/14 10:41:47 Last Updated: 2020/9/15 0:28:38

Authorities in the city of Ruili, which borders Myanmar in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, Monday called on border places in the city to enter wartime status requiring them to enhance border management and crack down on illegal border crossings after the city reported two imported COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

Eight border prefectures and 25 border counties in the province should enter wartime status immediately, enhancing anti-epidemic measures and border management to prevent imported cases, local officials said at a video conference Monday, local media reported.

The authorities also said they would launch citywide coronavirus testing to reduce risk of an outbreak.

The city government will spare no effort in strengthening border controls, with a 24-hour closed-cycle management that will be applied to all counties and communities near the border, to ensure there are no illegal crossings from neighboring countries, the People's Daily reported Monday, citing another video conference by the Ruili government on Sunday.

Officials mobilized local residents to report any illegal border crossings in a timely manner, stating that assistance in any form, including the provision of shelter for illegal trespassers, is strictly prohibited.

Population screening will be carried out in all communities and counties across the city, as well as hotels, restaurants, construction sites, and other locations.

All local jewelry online streaming and trading activities have been halted, read the government announcement. Staff working at jewelry trading venues or attending group gatherings in such places must take nucleic acid tests, and only those with negative results will be allowed back to their workplaces.

Two Myanmar nationals were confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 on Sunday. Both had entered Ruili from the neighboring country, health authorities said.

One of them was a 32-year-old woman who went from being an asymptomatic patient to a confirmed one on Sunday. The other was a 16-year-old girl who is being treated at the People's Hospital in Ruili.

Close contacts of the two cases have been quarantined and are under medical observation.

After a suspected patient was detected, the local anti-epidemic authority on Saturday locked down the neighborhood of Aoxing Shiji. Residents are required to stay at their homes during the lockdown period. The anti-epidemic group will provide residents with support.

The suspected case detected on Saturday was the 32-year-old patient, the Ruili city center for disease control and prevention confirmed to the Global Times on Monday.

Meanwhile, local police did not confirm whether the two patients had entered Ruili from Myanmar illegally as Ruili borders the Myanmar city of Muse, and people and goods often move through the port.

Border controls are widely regarded as an important means of preventing imported cases and preserving the domestic fruits of anti-epidemic moves.

Land ports linking Myanmar and China have been closed to passengers since the early days of the epidemic, and freight truck drivers are under epidemic-control measures, the Global Times learned from sources.

Since the early stages of the epidemic, authorities in Yunnan - which shares a border of 1,941 kilometers with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam - have been on high alert on border controls with strict administrative measures. Hundreds of people were found to have illegally crossed the border from Myanmar.

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