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Fresh covid-19 outbreak in southwest China border city


For the first time in nearly two months, China has reported a spate of new Covid-19 cases – this time in the country’s south west.

This comes as The UK recorded 43 new Covid-19 deaths, down from 56 on Tuesday.

Government statistics also show there were 4,052 new cases of Covid, only up marginally on Tuesday’s 4,040 cases.

Nine people in China have tested positive for Covid-19 in the city of Ruili, Yunnan province. Six have symptoms and three are asymptomatic.

Four of the patients are Burmese nationals and five are Chinese. All of the patients are aged 22 to 42 and they have mild symptoms.

A mass testing drive has been launched, and 317 close contacts of those affected have been placed in quarantine. Ruili citizens are being told to stay at home, and all businesses with the exception of supermarkets, farmers’ markets and pharmacies have closed.

Transport links have also been restricted, and people are not allowed to leave the city without a recent negative Covid-19 test result. A bridge that connects China with Myanmar has been closed.

China has remained relatively Covid-free since early February. Its last big outbreak occurred in the northeast of the country at the beginning of the year.

This is not the first time that Ruili, a city with a population of about 210,000, has experienced an outbreak. In September, an outbreak in the city was linked to a Burmese woman who had recently crossed the border.

The local government has said today it will “severely crack down on illegal border crossings” amid the fresh outbreak. Local citizens have told the Global Times newspaper there have been recent rumours in the city that people were being smuggled out of Myanmar, bringing the virus with them.

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