Manzhouli tightens border control measures
China Daily

A traffic police officer checks on a truck entering Harbin for COVID-19 prevention in Heilongjiang province on Dec 3, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Manzhouli, the largest rail and land port on the China-Russia border in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, has suspended certain activities for goods transportation via its railway port and land port to strengthen the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic and avert the risk of imported COVID-19, according to the local government.

Starting Friday, the land port suspended on-site operations including loading and unloading, transportation and customs clearance.

Since Wednesday, its railway port has suspended all imports of noncontainer goods including wood, coal, mineral powder, fertilizer, pulp, agricultural and sideline products and other goods that need manual handling.

The city has been carrying out strict management of drivers from both sides and reducing the number of Chinese workers at the port's freight yards. It has also increased disinfection measures to reduce the risk of imported contamination.

Manzhouli announced 24 new locally transmitted confirmed cases of COVID-19 from midnight to 2 pm on Friday, bringing the city's total in the latest outbreak to 263 local confirmed cases, officials said at a news conference on Friday afternoon.

Since three residents in Manzhouli tested positive for the virus on Nov 27, related positive cases had been reported in Hulunbuir and Tongliao in the region and the cities of Harbin and Nehe in Heilongjiang province by Thursday.

Harbin on Thursday reported 10 confirmed cases, all of which were related to a confirmed case reported previously in Manzhouli, according to the local government on Friday.

The city's epidemic prevention and control headquarters released a statement on Thursday, saying that a reward of 10,000 yuan ($1,570) will be given to anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 if they take the initiative to get tested or truthfully report symptoms when they seek treatment at medical institutions.

Harbin launched nucleic acid testing covering all local residents in the six districts in its downtown area at 8 am on Thursday.

Starting from Thursday, all kindergartens, primary schools, middle schools and vocational schools will be suspended for two days and provide online courses.

Beijing reported a new locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 case on Thursday, though the epidemic situation is under control in the capital, senior officials said at a news conference on Friday morning.

Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the Beijing municipal government, said that based on two years of fighting COVID-19, Beijing has mature control and prevention measures that have proved to be effective.

"Beijing launched the emergency response to start an epidemiological investigation after receiving the information from the other province. The risk is under control," he said.

Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the new confirmed case is a close contact of a confirmed case on Thursday in another province.

The individual, who took flight CZ6268 from Harbin to Beijing on Sunday, had a negative nucleic acid test result within 48 hours before boarding.