(Reuters) – China reported its biggest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in more than two months, as a city on the border with Myanmar in southwestern Yunnan province accounted for all new local cases.
The local Ruili government has placed residents in its urban area under home quarantine, launched a massive testing campaign and began restricting people from entering and leaving the city since last week after reporting COVID-19 patients.
The city accounted for the 15 new local cases reported on April 4. The total number of new COVID-19 infections, including imported infections originating from abroad, was 32, representing the highest total since January 31.
Genetic analysis of the cases discovered in Ruili suggests that the new local infections stem from viruses imported from Myanmar, state media reported. Of the new patients reported in the city, 11 of them were identified as citizens of Myanmar.
Ruili is a key transit point for Yunnan province, which has struggled to monitor its steep 4000 km (2500 miles) border with Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam for illegal immigration amid a wave of unauthorized crossings this year. passed by people seeking refuge from the pandemic. .
Local authorities have also started a vaccination campaign in Ruili in an attempt to contain COVID-19 and boost herd immunity in the city.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, stood at 18, coinciding with the total of the previous day.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 90,305, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,636.
(Reporting by Se Young Lee in Washington; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Michael Perry)