COVID-19: Chinese city on Burmese border quarantined

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Beijing | The Chinese town of Ruili, on the border with Burma, has been placed in quarantine after the detection of six cases of COVID-19, authorities said on Wednesday.

This outbreak in Yunnan province (southwest) is the biggest case of contagion reported by authorities in China for nearly two months.

The city of 210,000 inhabitants has also reported three cases of asymptomatic contamination among Burmese nationals, according to provincial health authorities.

Chinese borders have been closed for a year. Ruili was before the restrictions linked to the epidemic an important crossing point with the town of Muse, on the other side of the border.

The authorities have warned that they will “severely crack down on illegal border crossings” as well as smuggling networks and people who harbor illegal immigrants.

However, they did not specifically link the COVID cases to possible Burmese defectors.

The military coup of February 1 in Burma raises fears of a massive flight of the population abroad in case the violence should escalate.

The city has been quarantined for a week. Residents do not have the right to leave their accommodation without “specific reason” and only one person in each household can take care of supplies, with permission.

China, where COVID-19 appeared at the end of 2019, practically eradicated the epidemic in the spring of 2020. The official report in the country shows just over 90,000 cases of contamination and 4,636 deaths.