Illegal border crossings from Myanmar trigger lockdown; Ruili to begin citywide tests

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/15 10:20:13 Last Updated: 2020/9/15 12:20:13

File photo: Xinhua

The illegal border crossing from Myanmar to China of six people prompted at least eight prefectures and 25 counties that border Myanmar in Southwest China's Yunnan Province to enter "wartime status," including the city of Ruili, which is now under lockdown. 

This was the first time that authorities in Yunnan confirmed the two COVID-19 imported cases were people who crossed the border illegally, three days after a suspected case was reported in Ruili. 

A 32-year-old woman from Myanmar took her three children and two nurses across the border from Muse, Myanmar, to Ruili on September 3, and stayed at her sister's residence at the Aoxing Shiji community, which was sealed off on Saturday. 

All people living in the residential compound were given nucleic acid tests, and so far all 1,185 tested came back negative, authorities revealed at a Monday news conference. A total of 190 close contacts have been tracked and quarantined. 

The entire city of Ruili will be put under lockdown for at least a week, and all residents in the city will be given nucleic acid tests. 

The people who crossed the border illegally will be held legally responsible and those who helped and housed them will also be punished, Ruili government officials said. 

Local government officials admitted there are still loopholes in controlling the 169.8 kilometers of border that Ruili shares with Myanmar. 

In the early stages of the epidemic, Ruili sealed the boundary river, shut down ferry crossings, dismantled ferry ancillary facilities and cut off illegal waterways. 

In an effort to plug these loopholes, the city mobilized local officials to go house to house to find anyone else who has crossed the border illegally. They will gather information of Myanmar nationals in the city and strengthen the dynamic monitoring system.  

Those who are employed in the city will be given nucleic acid tests and quarantined, and those whose arrival records are not clear and who have no fixed jobs will be repatriated, according to the local government.

Ruili will also assist Myanmar with anti-epidemic materials and financial support to help villages bordering the country build strong epidemic prevention and control checkpoints.

On the basis of the current 48 border patrol checkpoints, 188 more will be set up to strengthen border patrols.

Global Times


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