26 New COVID-19 Cases Reported In China, Myanmar Link Seen In Yunnan

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Mainland China reported 26 new COVID-19 cases on April 2, up from nine each day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Saturday, as officials within the country’s southwest linked an area outbreak to Myanmar.

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

Genetic analysis of cases in Ruili suggests they stemmed from viruses imported from Myanmar and aren’t associated with other recent localized outbreaks in China, state media reported, citing a press briefing.

Ruili may be a key transit point for Yunnan, which has struggled to watch its rugged 4,000 km (2,500-mile) border with Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam for illegal immigration amid a wave of unauthorized crossings last year by people seeking a haven from the pandemic.

The city has imposed home quarantine, exit restrictions, and mass testing. By Saturday it had identified 3,650 close contacts and secondary contacts of cases, state media reported.

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

The number of latest asymptomatic cases, which China doesn’t classify as confirmed cases, rose to 24 from 20.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in China now stand at 90,252, with the price unchanged at 4,636