To prevent the spread of Covid-19 China closed its Ruili border crossing to everyone except Chinese nationals and residents of Muse. Although the virus originated in China, a Chinese official claimed the new measures are necessary to protect the country against a new stem of infections coming from Burma.
The border closure was announced after China emerged from a two-month lockdown. Recently, there have been few transmissions of Covid-19, officials claim, with most new infections reported from Chinese returning from other countries.
Burmese border guards at the Sinphyu checkpoint refused entry for anyone without Muse ID, Sai Aung, from Muse, told SHAN. The closure created confusion and angered merchants and workers that need to enter China for their employment.
“It’s not fair we’re not allowed to enter China,” said Ko Kyaw Ye Aung, who works in Jiegao, a subdivision of Ruili. “I’m not sure why they closed the gate. They said it was the health department that put the restrictions in place.”
Since the crossing was closed at midday, Ko Kyaw Ye Aung told SHAN there were about 1,000 people gathered outside of the Sinphyu checkpoint.
Trucks carrying goods to China have been barred from entering since March 28.
After Covid-19 was announced in late December, following an outbreak in Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province, there have been 787,010 confirmed cases in 178 countries, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University on March 31. The virus has killed 37,829 people. There have been 166, 214 recoveries.