A new wave of epidemic outbreak in Ruili, Yunnan, China-Myanmar border is difficult to prevent and control

New coronavirus outbreaks have rebounded in some parts of mainland China. Four new local confirmed cases and four asymptomatic infections have been reported, all from Ruili, a border city with Myanmar, and some of the patients are of Burmese origin. The epidemic, coupled with the tense situation in Myanmar, is expected to increase the difficulty of preventing and controlling the epidemic as a large number of smugglers may cross the border for refuge in the near future.

Under the impact of the new wave of the epidemic, the city of Ruili in Yunnan Province has been closed since Tuesday (30). All residents in the city are to be quarantined at home, and mandatory testing will begin on Wednesday. In the next few days, 300,000 urban residents will receive the new crown vaccine one after another.

Mr. Li: “From yesterday (Thursday) at noon and afternoon immediately strict up. Basically, no one is allowed to go out, no one is allowed to move in the streets. I received the news on the 28th, originally thought there were one or two cases, the authorities will be able to control and strong prevention, but I did not expect it to be so serious. When testing nucleic acid this number is going to go up again, because the cases smuggled over, they do not know when they came in.”

Ruili city government said the confirmed case found in the routine nucleic acid testing is a Burmese national, the patient has arrived in Ruili early last year, after a number of confirmed Burmese nationals are long-term residents in Ruili, the preliminary judgment is a native case, but still can not find the source.

Chinese CDC experts said Ruili is located on the border between China and Myanmar, and Myanmar is one of the hardest hit areas of the epidemic in Southeast Asia, it is estimated that the virus is highly likely to be imported from outside the country. Mr. Li, a resident, said that the border is currently guarded mainly by local people, and with a border line of more than 170 kilometers, it is very difficult to keep the gate.

Mr. Li: “Normally, you can’t see the public security, it’s just a militia group or militia made up of ordinary people. There will be people (smugglers) cut barbed wire, there will be people digging, barbed wire is on the flat ground, he went to dig a hole to drill directly over. The people here basically do not go abroad, it is the people over there (Myanmar) to come, some are China’s past and then back, and there is Myanmar’s smuggling to China. Every day there are smugglers running inland from here.”

The protests in Myanmar have so far claimed more than 500 lives. Earlier someone even filmed the Chinese Liberation Army gathering in Ruili city, and outsiders estimate that a civil war could break out in Myanmar.

Mr. Huang, a resident of Yunnan, believes that if the Burmese military government intensifies its crackdown, it is expected that many Burmese or Burmese Chinese will cross the border to seek refuge.

The border between China and Myanmar is also very long, not only from Ruili, but also from other places can run over. There is no such thing as too strict a blockade. If there is a humanitarian disaster, everyone must run for their lives.”

Ruili was closed last September after two smugglers from Myanmar entered the city, causing the spread of the epidemic. After the new wave of the outbreak, a CCTV host criticized authorities on the show for not learning from last year’s lessons and questioned loopholes in border control.