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October 20, 2021

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Border towns enforce lockdown as China reports 9 local COVID cases

China reported nine new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest daily tally since the end of September. The latest outbreak prompted two northern border areas to enforce a lockdown.

Five of the nine new local cases were found in the northwestern city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, and two were in the Inner Mongolia region, data from the National Health Commission showed yesterday.

Erenhot City in Inner Mongolia, which shares a border with Mongolia, advised its 76,000 residents on Monday not to leave their residential compounds except when necessary. It had reported four local cases since October 13.

Travel in or out of the city is banned, except for essential cars with official clearance, the Erenhot health authority said.

Ejin Banner, an administrative division in another part of Inner Mongolia, has closed all entrance and exit channels, launched a testing scheme on its 36,000 population and suspended all schools, local authorities said.

Ejin had found five new local cases yesterday in the latest outbreak. All were in close contact with two patients found in Xi’an on Sunday, the local authority said.

Xi’an city has shut some tourist sites for disinfection, and those arriving from outside Shaanxi Province must show proof of negative test results within 48 hours before they can visit tourist sites or stay at hotels.

The city of Changsha in central China’s Hunan Province and northwestern Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region also reported one case each on Monday.

Yinchuan has advised residents not to leave town for unnecessary trips, and closed public venues such as bars and cinemas in two districts with higher virus risk.

The outbreak also spread to Beijing, which reported its first local case since August yesterday — someone who was on the same train as the infected person in Yinchuan.

A couple of retired university professors from Shanghai had tested positive in Xi’an on Friday.


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