China Reports 26 New COVID-19 Cases; Myanmar Link seen in Yunnan

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, people line up to do their nucleic acid test at a mass test site

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Mainland China reported 26 new cases of COVID-19 on April 2, up from nine the day before, the country’s national health agency said on Saturday as officials in the country’s southwest linked a local outbreak to Myanmar.

The National Health Commission said seven of the new cases were local infections in Yunnan Province, where a COVID-19 cluster had emerged in the city of Ruili, bordering Rwanda.

Genetic analysis of cases in Ruili suggests they originate from viruses imported from Myanmar and are unrelated to other outbreaks recently localized in China, state media reported, citing a press conference.

Ruili is a key transit point for Yunnan Province, which struggled to break its rugged 4,000 km border with Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to illegal crossings last year amid a wave of unauthorized crossings by people seeking refuge from the pandemic Monitor immigration.

The city has imposed quarantine, exit restrictions and mass tests. As of Saturday, 3,650 close contacts and secondary contacts of cases had been identified, state media reported.

The other 19 new infections in mainland China were imported, the National Health Commission said.

The number of new asymptomatic cases that China does not classify as confirmed cases rose from 20 to 24.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stand at 90,252, with the death toll unchanged at 4,636.

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