China tightens its border as ‘imported’ cases spike

Reuters Shanghai | Updated on April 12, 2020

51 Chinese flying in from Russia on one flight test positive

China is stepping up scrutiny of inbound foreigners and tightening border control after the number of single-day imported coronavirus cases set a record, helping double the daily number of newly detected infections.

New confirmed cases in mainland China reached 99 on April 11 from 46 the previous day, with all but two involving travellers from abroad. In commercial hub of Shanghai, 51 Chinese nationals flying in on the same flight from Russia tested positive.

“The risk of imported cases has increased dramatically,” Wen Guohui, mayor of Guangzhou, told a news conference on Sunday. Guangzhou is enforcing anti-virus measures on anyone who enters the city from across the national border, regardless of nationality, race or gender, foreign affairs official Liu Baochun said at the same event. In the North-Eastern province of Heilongjiang, which reported 21 new, Russia-imported cases on April 11, the local government said its Suifenhe border with Russia will remain closed after April 13.

Mainland China reported 99 new coronavirus cases on April 11, more than doubling from the previous day to reach a one-month high, showed data from China’s National Health Commission. Just two out of the 99 cases were locally transmitted. Shanghai contributed more than half of the imported cases. Of the city’s new cases, 51 flew in on the same flight from Russia on April 10. The 52nd case involved a Chinese national arriving from a trip to Canada.

Shanghai authorities have quarantined 92 other passengers who were in close contact with the infected, the city’s health commission said on Sunday.

Published on April 12, 2020

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