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China reported 26 new COVID-19 cases on April 2 witnessing a spike from nine cases a day earlier, said the country’s national health authority on April 3 as officials in the southwest linked new infections with a local outbreak in Myanmar. As per local state media reports, the National Health Commission said that seven of the cases on Friday were from local cases in Yunnan province where a new COVID-91 cluster has emerged in the city of Ruili bordering Myanmar. China’s Southeast Asian neighbour is currently rocked with anti-military protests, violence following the February 1 coup amid the pandemic.
Citing a press briefing, the state media reported that the genetic analysis of cases in Ruili indicated that the infections budded from viruses imported from Myanmar and are unrelated to the localised outbreaks in China. Ruili is basically a key transit point for Yunnan province. However, the region has been struggling to monitor the 4,000 km (2,500-mile) border with Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam for illegal immigration amid a fresh wave of unauthorised crossings in 2020 as people sought shelter from the pandemic.
The Chinese city of Ruli has imposed home quarantine, exit restrictions and as well as mass testing. As per state media reports, by Saturday, it had identified 3,650 close contacts and secondary contacts of cases. Apart from COVID-19 cases budded from Myanmar, the other 19 infections in China were imported, stated the national Health Commission. Furthermore, the number of asymptomatic coronavirus cases that China excludes from confirmed cases spiked to 24 from 20. As per the Johns Hopkins University tally as of April 3, the total COVID-19 cases in China are 101,801 with a death toll of 4,841.
While Myanmar had launched its immunisation drive in January-end just days before the military took over the power, starting from Thursday, four Myanmar-China border counties and cities including Ruili launched the mass vaccinations. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Yunnan Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, which governs Ruili stated the move in order to control the sudden new infections. As per the Global Times report, presently there are 65 vaccination points and noted that the vaccine stocks are currently insufficient.