Chinese city on Myanmar border orders home quarantine over new COVID cases

BEIJING (Reuters) – The southwestern Chinese city of Ruili that borders Myanmar ordered on Wednesday a one week home quarantine for residents of the city’s urban area, and mass COVID testing, after reporting six new locally transmitted coronavirus cases.

Health authorities in Yunnan province, where Ruili is located, said the six new cases were Chinese citizens, while three asymptomatic patients, who are infected with the coronavirus but show no symptoms, were Myanmar citizens.

The new patients were discovered following a routine nucliec acid test of the city’s key population, the Yunnan health commission said in a statement, but did not say how they were infected.

Ruili on Wednesday will crack down on illegal border crossings, according to a statement from the city government published by the Communist Party authorities of Yunnan province.

The city will only allow individuals with a negative nucleic acid COVID-19 test within 72 hours to leave Ruili and will advise all people and vehicles coming to the city to turn back.

The city is a key transit point for Yunnan province, which has struggled to monitor its rugged 4,000 km (2,485-mile) border with Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam for illegal immigration amid a wave of unauthorised crossings last year by those seeking a haven from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ruili rolled out similar measures last year after imported infections from Myanmar were detected in the city.

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