Chinese City Launches New Round of COVID-19 Testing Despite Alleged High Vaccination Rate

July 21, 2021 Updated: July 21, 2021

Authorities in Ruili announced that they would carry out a new round of local COVID-19 testing on July 20, after the city had allegedly achieved a vaccination rate of nearly 97 percent. Residents are now told to stay quarantined at home.

On Wednesday, China’s National Health Commission confirmed 22 new COVID cases across the country in the past 24 hours, including eight cases from Yunnan Province. Yunnan reported 49 infections the day before, including 41 cases among residents who returned home from Burma (also known as Myanmar).

Authorities don’t classify asymptomatic cases as confirmed cases.

Ruili, a southwest sub-prefectural city bordering Burma in Yunnan, reported seven confirmed cases on July 19. This is the fourth local outbreak since last year. The city is home to approximately 270,000 people.

State-owned media outlet CCTV claimed on July 6 that the Dehong prefecture, where Ruili is located, had achieved a high-ranking vaccination rate of 96.92 percent for local residents. Almost all residents that met the conditions of vaccination had received at least one dose of a Chinese-made vaccine.

The municipal Command Center for COVID-19 Control and Prevention in Ruili announced a new round of nucleic acid testing, which began on July 20, while the city remained under lockdown.

The current spike in COVID cases marks another cluster of infections in China involving the fast-spreading and highly contagious Delta strain. However, locals are concerned with the authorities’ handling of the ongoing pandemic.

Wang (pseudonym), a foreigner working in Ruili, told The Epoch Times on July 20 that officials have asked all Ruili residents to get tested almost seven or eight times. But most of the people who were recently infected with the virus were only tested once, he claimed.

Chinese authorities said that the latest outbreak in Ruili began on July 4. However, Wang claims that the outbreak started days earlier.

“It should be June 28, but it was an internal news, not announced to the public,” he said.

Wang criticized the lockdown policy for being too rigid and causing hardship among residents, and said the authorities could have handled the situation more “humanely.”

Gu Xiaohua, Zhang Yujie, and Reuters contributed to this report.