COVID-19 Outbreak Worsens in China’s Inner Mongolia

COVID-19 Outbreak Worsens in China’s Inner Mongolia
A health worker takes a swab from a resident to be tested for the CCP virus as part of a mass testing program following a new outbreak of the coronavirus in Qingdao, a city located in eastern China's Shandong Province on Oct. 13, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in China’s Inner Mongolia. Local authorities in the city of Manzhouli have raised the emergency level to “medium risk” and have tightened its borders  with neighboring Russia to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Four locally transmitted cases in Manzhouli were confirmed by the Inner Mongolia health commission on Dec. 1.
On the same day, the Inner Mongolia COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control Work Headquarters held its 71st press conference, and reported that eight people tested positive in the second round of nucleic acid testing that was carried out between Nov. 27 and Nov. 29 in Manzhouli. A total of 203,378 residents were tested, according to Beijing’s official mouthpiece Xinhua.

Local health authorities also announced at the press conference that the Dongshan subdistrict was upgraded to a "high risk" area for COVID-19.

The South subdistrict, Xinghua subdistrict, and the Fourth subdistrict in the Zhalai Nuoer District have been designated as “medium risk” areas and control measures are being implemented, Xinhua reported.

During this pandemic, Chinese authorities have routinely underreported infection cases in order to downplay the severity of a crisis.

Business owners and residents living in Dongshan subdistrict said many areas have already been sealed off, with no one allowed to enter or exit. Those who spoke to The Epoch Times wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from local authorities.

The owner of one car rental shop said all residential areas are now under lockdown and will be for the next 20 days or so.

A restaurant owner said he was required to close down his establishment, which was also not allowed to do takeout.

The owner of a local market said many districts have discovered COVID-19 cases, and residents were thus required to take nucleic acid tests repeatedly.

Manzhouli was placed under lockdown last month after local authorities confirmed two infection cases of COVID-19.

As of Dec. 1, authorities confirmed 18 local cases, two suspected cases, and two asymptomatic infections in Manzhouli, according to a notice issued by Inner Mongolia’s health commission. They have all been isolated and treated in designated hospitals in the city. The notice also stated that contact tracing is in progress—about 1,045 close contacts of the confirmed patients have been identified so far, all of whom have been quarantined for medical observation.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. The virus first appeared in Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei Province, in late 2019.

Local authorities in Manzhouli have restricted cross-border activities with Russia in order to prevent the spread of the virus among "people and objects," Xinhua reported. Different groups of people who cross the border such as railway personnel and truck drivers are “categorized by different risk levels” and the corresponding prevention and control measures are being implemented, the report said.