Chinese border city deals with accidental poisoning and new coronavirus cases

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/16 0:14:52

Ruili port File Photo: Courtesy of the China Kunming Customs District

Ruili, a Chinese border city with Myanmar is facing a second health crisis this week with a deadly, accidental poisoning that has killed one worker just a day after the city reported several coronavirus infections among people who had illegally crossed the border. 

On Sunday, 14 employees at a catering company in the city in Southwest China's Yunnan Province were rushed to hospital for treatment of apparently being accidentally poisoned. 

One of the workers has died, nine are in critical condition and four others were in stable condition as of Tuesday night. 

The workers apparently ingested a toxic herbal root that is used in Chinese medicine only as a topical medication. There is no effective treatment and deadly misuse of the herb has been reported in the past. 

The city of 200,000 drew national attention on Sunday when two new coronavirus cases prompted a lockdown of a residential compound and massive city-wide testing. 

Authorities on Tuesday confirmed that two of six people who had illegally crossed into China from Myanmar tested positive for coronavirus.

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