Chinese Border Town on Lockdown After Burmese Migrants Test Positive for COVID-19

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Chinese authorities have locked down the city of Ruili in Yunnan Province after two Burmese migrants tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Shweli Prepare to close border
Photo Credit to Chan Myae: Shweli Prepare to close border

The two Burmese migrant workers entered Ruili—referred to as Shweli in Burmese—on September 12.

“Nobody is allowed to go out of their houses. Chinese medical staff are collecting swab [tests] from all of the residents in Ruili,” Chan Myae, a Burmese national who works in Ruili, told SHAN.

According to Chan Myae, the authorities in Ruili have restricted travel and ordered businesses to stop operations since the two workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We are not allowed to visit other homes or other wards,” he said.

Chan Myae said he was impressed by the Chinese response to the presence of the virus in the city.  

“In my opinion, their COVID-19 control and management is really good,” he told SHAN.

Chinese authorities have shut down all entry points and business operation in Ruili city and launched medical checkup for COVID-19.

Another Burmese national in Ruili, Yan Naing, recommended that those in Shan State and Burma not risk traveling to China at this time.

“No vehicles are allowed to enter Ruili, including trucks. They have closed all entry and exit points in Ruili. I would like to tell Burmese migrants not to come to Ruili using any secret routes,” Yan Naing said.  

He told SHAN that the Chinese authorities are testing all Burmese migrants for COVID-19, but that there has been no charge for the tests.  

“Here in Ruili, everybody wears a face mask. The Chinese authorities have strict control over it. I want the Burmese authorities to learn a lesson from China about how to control COVID-19,” Yan Naing said.

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