Residents have been ordered to stay home and checkpoints have been set up in Ruili to stop people leaving and entering amid fears of the invisible killer disease spreading. The Asian superpower took action after two new cases of COVID-19 were detected among travellers from Myanmar.
Ruan Chengfa, deputy secretary of Yunnan’s party committee, said “complete inspection, strict quarantine. No entry and no exit” would be enforced.
More than 360 testing sites have sprung up around the city, with 1,200 people completing testing to test over 60,0000 people by Tuesday.
It comes as China inoculates tens of thousands of its citizens with experimental coronavirus vaccines, despite experts’ concerns over the safety of drugs that have not completed standard testing.
China launched a vaccine emergency use programme in July, offering three experimental shots developed by a unit of state pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group Sinopharm and US-listed Sinovac Biotech.
A fourth COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.
Aiming to protect essential workers and reduce the likelihood of a resurgence, the vaccines are also grabbing attention in the global scramble by governments to secure supplies, potentially helping reframe China’s perceived role in the pandemic.
Mainland China reported nine new COVID-19 cases as of September 16, down from 12 reported a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Thursday.
The National Health Commission said in a statement all new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas.
The number of new asymptomatic patients also fell to 14 from 16 a day earlier, though China does not count these patients as confirmed cases.
Total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 85,223, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.
Xi Jinping has lavished praise on China for its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
On September 8, the CCP President held an awards ceremony honouring the “heroes” of China’s “people’s war” against the virus.
He also claimed during the ceremony the country had acted in an “open and transparent” manner over the contagion while “passing an extraordinary and historic test”.
During the ceremony, Mr Xi touted China’s “mask diplomacy”, and said the county had “helped save a great number of lives from COVID-19 around the world with concrete actions”.
China exported of 209,000 ventilators, 1.4 billion protective suits and 151.5 billion masks across the world after their initial outbreak.