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Chinese city on Myanmar border locked down in COVID-19 outbreak

Chinese city on Myanmar border locked down in COVID-19 outbreak

People line up for nucleic acid testing at a residential compound following new cases of COVID-19 in Ruili, a border city with Myanmar, in Yunnan province, China, Jul 5, 2021. (Photo: cnsphoto via REUTERS)

SHANGHAI: Authorities in China's southwestern province of Yunnan locked down the city of Ruili on Wednesday (Jul 7), shutting most businesses and requiring residents to stay at home, as a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 expanded.

The city, which borders Myanmar, reported 15 new confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for Tuesday.

This was up from three confirmed locally transmitted cases a day earlier.

Two of the cases confirmed for Tuesday had previously been identified as asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases.

The other 13 were identified through mass testing in the city of Ruili, the Health Commission of Yunnan Province said in a statement.

The positive cases include both Chinese and Myanmar nationals in the city, where there is active cross-border trade. Authorities said they would step up border controls.

The lockdown, effective at midnight, shut down all businesses and public institutions except hospitals, pharmacies and essential shops like grocery stores. It affects the urban area of Ruili.

Provincial authorities have prevented individuals from leaving or entering Ruili without special permission since Monday.

Yunnan province also reported two new locally transmitted asymptomatic cases for Tuesday, and one new asymptomatic case imported from abroad, the statement said.

The last outbreak of local COVID-19 cases in China was in the southern Guangdong province in mid-June.

Overall, China reported 57 new COVID-19 cases in the mainland for Tuesday, up from 23 cases a day earlier. The number of new asymptomatic cases rose to 41 from 25 cases a day earlier.

It was the highest daily tally of infections since Jan 30.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in mainland China stood at 91,949. The death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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