CHINA Ruili city of Yunnan starts to inoculate all 300,000 residents, as a flare-up shadows local tourism

CHINA

Ruili city of Yunnan starts to inoculate all 300,000 residents, as a flare-up shadows local tourism

Global Times

17:53, April 02, 2021

A medical worker injects a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site of Jingcheng Hospital in Ruili City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 1, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

The city of Ruili in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, which borders Myanmar, started a five-day citywide vaccination campaign for all residents on Friday after the city reported another 4 local confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Ruili found seven people who tested positive for COVID-19 during its citywide nucleic acid testing on Thursday -- four are confirmed cases and three belong to asymptomatic virus carriers. Yunnan reported the four new cases in Ruili, bringing the total number of the latest resurgence in the province to 18.

Ruili launched a citywide vaccination for all its 300,000 residents in urban areas over five days starting on Friday, the city government has announced.

People queue for inoculation at a COVID-19 vaccination site of Jingcheng Hospital in Ruili City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 1, 2021.

Gong Yunzun, the municipal Communist Party secretary told the media that its vaccine supplies are sufficient, and the latest batch of vaccines of 159,000 doses were flown to the city Thursday evening.

Gong noted that herd immunity might be achieved after the citywide vaccination program in the coming four days

The city has suspended all schools, and all residents are required to quarantine at home for a week and will not be allowed to go out unless they have special reasons, according to an announcement by Ruili's anti-virus guiding group.

During the one-week quarantine, all business premises except supermarkets, pharmacies and farmers markets will be shut.

Gong said the city opened its green passage to all electricity supplying vehicles, garbage trucks and vehicles carrying rice, flour, oil and other necessities to ensure people's basic livelihoods are protected. One family member from each household can also go out every three days to buy crucial daily supplies.

At present, the market is well supplied and prices are stable, Gong said.

The city has set up 506 border points with more than 3,900 people taking turns to be on duty.Gong said that the authorities plan to shore up border barricades to prevent stowaways from illegally making their way into China.

Yang Zhanqiu, a virologist from Wuhan University, hailed the response to the latest flare-up in Ruili, saying it has been "immediate, decisive, humanized and flexible."

China has accumulated rich experiences in preventing and controlling coronavirus now, and Chinese residents are generally confident about how to contain a resurging virus. Local governments and residents have responded to the new flare-up in an orderly manner, Yang told the Global Times on Friday.

The pandemic situation abroad is fluid and uncertain, and the risk of imported infections needs to be taken seriously, Yang warned.

Only a few countries and regions, such as China and Singapore, where public health measures are well in place, and Israel and the US, where vaccination programs are advancing rapidly, have seen a mild decline in infections , said Zhan Wenhong, China's leading infectious disease specialist and head of the Shanghai COVID-19 medical team, on his Sina Weibo account on Friday.

Ruili city has launched a very swift vaccination program, making it the first in China to implement citywide emergency vaccination against COVID-19, providing a new useful scenario for the country to deal with a virus resurgence, Zhang said.

He noted no matter how effective it is to cordon off a city, there are always loopholes, but strong protection will take shape after broad vaccinations.

Zhang predicted that Yunnan will become one of the first Chinese provinces to build up herd immunity and perhaps the fastest to fully open up.

Zhang said the basic task of anti-pandemic work in China this year will be preventing imported infections and building herd immunity.

Trying to calm down public concerns, Yang noted that the new flare-up in Ruili will have little impact on nationwide tourism during the upcoming Qingming Festival from Saturday to Monday. And, he said there is no need to further strengthen anti-pandemic work in the country as current measures are very effective to control resurgences.

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