China has locked down several cities close to its northern border with Mongolia, following several outbreaks of Covid-19.
The largest flareup is in the Inner Mongolian city of Manzhouli, a crucial land port of entry bordering Russia.
On Tuesday the city had 34 confirmed cases, bringing its total number of cases to 73 since the start of the current outbreak which began on Saturday.
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of northeastern China, bordering the independent country Mongolia and Russia.
On Monday, a total of 42 locally transmitted cases were also reported across two provinces and three municipalities in northern China, mostly in the city of Hulunbuir.
The city of Manzhouli has conducted three city-wide mass testings on its 300,000 residents over three days, according to the local government. The third round of testing happened Tuesday morning.
The city has been placed under a strict lockdown, with public transport suspended and 24-hour guarded checkpoints set up around its borders.
All residents are prohibited from going out — apart from medical support staff and material delivery personnel. Businesses, schools, universities, and kindergartens are closed across Manzhouli, the local government said in a press release Monday.
Genome sequencing of the first three cases in Manzhouli found that the infections may have been spread via “imported goods,” the Center for Epidemic Prevention and Control in Manzhouli said Tuesday.
From December 1, Manzhouli railway port will suspend the import of non-container goods that require manual handling.
Several other cities — some hundreds of miles from Manzhouli — have also been locked down, with major roads connecting the districts blocked off.
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