Update: China-Russia border city Manzhouli to test all 300,000 residents after 2 local infections reported
By Liu Caiyu and Fan Anqi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/22 13:04:54
North China's port city of Manzhouli, China's largest land port bordering Russia, has entered quasi-lockdown mode, with 300,000 local residents to be given nucleic acid tests after two local COVID-19 infections were reported on Saturday whose sources of infection remain unclear.
Local authorities said on Sunday that the two infections are a 55-year-old sanitation worker and his wife, who works as a domestic help. The places where the two confirmed cases have visited in the past 14 days have been sealed off and undergone thorough disinfection.
Starting at 2 pm on Sunday, large-scale nucleic acid testing will be carried out on all residents and employees in the urban area of Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, over three days, the city government announced Sunday.
Before the official announcement, some locals in the port city said online that their communities had already started testing on Saturday night.
From Saturday, highways, train stations and bus stations in regions near Manzhouli started to set up inspection points to control and screen people who had come from the port city since November 7, requiring them to get tested and to be closely monitored by communities.
People from Manzhouli are encouraged to reduce their frequency of travel.
Operations of bus and train stations in the city were also entirely suspended starting Saturday.
The city's airport did not announce a suspension of flights, but did stop all transfer flights to Hohhot, the capital city of Inner Mongolia.
A netizen on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo reached by the Global Times, who traveled from Hailar to Manzhouli on Saturday, said that some travelers have been stranded in the city. They were asked to register personal information at the train station and wait for further notice at hotels.
Jalai Nur District in Hulun Buir will also test all its residents together with Manzhouli as the two places are close to each other, authorities said Sunday.
As with Manzhouli, schools and public venues in Dalai Nur will be closed.
Two streets â€“ Dongshan and Beiqu â€“ in Manzhouli are listed as COVID-19 medium risk regions. The risk response level in other parts of the city remain unchanged.
As the city carries out city-wide testing, the health authority did not reveal the source of infections of the two local confirmed cases, saying they are investigating it in accordance with the epidemiology.
Local residents told the Global Times on Sunday that one of the infected patients, the domestic help, had a dispute with her employer and went to a local police station. The police station was said to have been sealed off. A nearby kindergarten attended by the three children of her employer was also sealed off, according to local residents interviewed by the Global Times.
The residential compounds where the two live were sealed off to prevent the virus from spreading.
In the wake of the sudden infections, business at all public venues in the city was suspended except shops that provide essential daily goods for citizens.
Since the announcement of confirmed cases, local residents have been lining up to buy food and daily necessities at supermarkets, where prices remain normal, the Global Times learned on Sunday.
Schools, kindergartens, training institutions, and vocational schools are required to temporarily shut down and make preparations for online courses, said a notice issued by the local education bureau on Sunday.
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