City imposes lockdown, citywide NAT after imported cases

A medical worker collects a throat swab sample to test for COVID-19 at Ruili People's Hospital in Yunnan province on September 14. [Photo by Yang Xuemei/For China Daily]

Ruili city in Southwest China's Yunnan province (云南瑞丽市) has imposed a citywide lockdown and issued a stay-at-home order for all residents after two COVID-19 cases from overseas were reported in the city, local authorities said on Monday (September 14). The anti-epidemic measures will temporarily remain in place for one week.

The cases were discovered on Sunday (September 13), the provincial health commission said. Both patients are Myanmar nationals who entered China illegally through Ruili. One of them was previously diagnosed as an asymptomatic infection.

The two patients and five others have been quarantined and hospitalized. As of 4 p.m. on Monday, 190 close contacts have also been isolated and have had their samples taken for virus testing. So far, 98 have tested negative for coronavirus, while the others are waiting for their results.

Ruili will launch a citywide nucleic acid testing (NAT) campaign, which targets illegal immigrants in particular, to identify hidden risks of the virus' spread and strengthen residents' awareness of disease prevention and control.

Mask-wearing will be mandated in all public spaces, including supermarkets, hotels and workplaces. Meetings will be reduced and large gatherings, including trading activities for jade and jewelry, will be halted, the government said in a notice.

The local government has also stepped up efforts to crack down on illegal crossings and to persuade illegal immigrants to return. Violators will be handled by local public security, the notice added.

Ruili officials also advised those who have left the city since September 12 to get tested for the novel coronavirus.

Editor: Becky

Sources: China Daily; CGTN