China has closed the main bridge linking the country with Myanmar, as three Myanmar nationals tested positive for the virus in the bordering province, local media reported on Wednesday.
The country registered 11 new cases, five of them imported, according to a statement released by the National Health Commission.
Six indigenous cases were registered in southwest Yunnan province, which borders Myanmar, the statement added.
The decision to close the border bridge was taken on Tuesday after three Myanmar nationals tested positive for the virus in Ruili city, prompting authorities to impose a lockdown in the city, according to the South China Morning Post.
The city shares 170-kilometer-long (105-mile) border with Myanmar and security officials have admitted border control remains a tough task as the two sides have a unique “one street links two countries” and “one village links two countries” arrangement.
Authorities have also banned people and vehicles from passing along the Jiegao bridge – the link between the two countries. Jiegao is a township in Ruili bordering Myanmar.
A notice issued by the local government said it will “severely crack down” on illegal border crossings and anyone who organizes or assists them.
The measures came at a time when Myanmar is witnessing massive anti-military demonstrations ever since the Tatmadaw – official name of the Burmese army – launched pre-dawn raids on Feb. 1 arresting the civilian government officials and politicians and announcing one-year state of emergency.
According to the Myanmar-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 521 people have been killed by Myanmar security forces, while over 2,600 others have been arrested during anti-coup demonstrations that started only days after the coup on Feb. 1.
Fresh cases in Ruili triggered citywide nucleic acid testing since 8:00 a.m. local time (0130GMT) on Wednesday.
While the government has said it will bear the costs of the testing, the local residents of the city have been directed to stay at home for a week from now.
No one will be allowed to go out without a special reason, authorities said, adding all business premises except supermarkets, pharmacies and farmers’ markets will be closed.
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