The latest infection appeared in Manzhouli, a city that borders Russia, according to Inner Mongolia’s health commission, which made the announcement on its website at around 5 p.m. local time on Nov. 21. The commission didn’t provide further details, except for saying that people who came into close contact with the two infected people were being located.
Chinese health officials made a flurry of moves after the commission’s announcement. According to China’s state-run media, local communities in Manzhouli have been put under “seal-off management,” and all citizens would be tested for COVID-19. Classes at schools and kindergartens have been suspended.
People have also been forbidden to hold large-scale gatherings such as dinner parties and banquets, according to China’s state-run media. Public event venues were to suspend operations.
Train and airport services in Manzhouli were also halted until further notice.
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.
Mr. Qin, a resident in Manzhouli and owner of a car dealership, confirmed with the Chinese-language Epoch Times on Nov. 21 that the city was under lockdown. He said that the residential community he lived in was under “seal-off management,” and so were other nearby communities.
Qin said the two infected people reported by health officials were a couple. They and their three children were among 13 people placed under quarantine.
Among the 13 people, Qin said one of them recently went to Ulanhot, another city in Inner Mongolia located about a 10-hour drive from Manzhouli.
As for the source of the latest infection cases, Qin said that he learned from a local announcement that the virus originated from some flour packages shipped from Russia.
A married couple living in Manzhouli, who declined to provide their names to The Epoch Times, said they learned from a local announcement that the husband of the infected couple initially contracted the virus after handling some packages at the city’s trade zone. The husband worked as a cleaner at the trade zone, while the wife had a job as a babysitter.
They added that local authorities had released a list of names of people who were required to undergo quarantine.
To survive the lockdown, the couple said they had stockpiled basic necessities. Meanwhile, shelves at local markets had been picked clean, they said. They also learned that a hospital team had arrived in the city to help with testing people for the virus.
Transportation has also been shut down, the couple said, noting that the bus service was halted, private vehicles were forbidden to be driven on roads, and some roads were sealed off.
They added that they expected the local infection to get worse in the coming days.
According to state-run media, an unnamed staff at Manzhouli’s disease prevention and control center refused to comment when asked if the two infected individuals were husband and wife. The staff added that Manzhouli was closed, and access to the city was forbidden.