China seeks to vaccinate entire city against Covid-19 in just five days after outbreak


The Chinese border city of Ruili has launched a mass vaccination campaign, seeking to inoculate its entire population in just a five-day period. The drive follows a local Covid-19 outbreak, with tens of cases having been detected.

The vaccination drive in Ruili, located in the southern province of Yunnan, on the country’s border with Myanmar, was launched on Friday.

China’s central government has already supplied the city with some 159,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the campaign, with more expected to be delivered shortly. All in all, some 300,000 people, residents of the city and suburban areas, are expected to be immunized in the next five days.

The outbreak in Ruili was detected earlier this week, prompting a testing campaign and a tight lockdown. The residents have been barred from leaving the city, and urged to stay home unless they have a valid reason. All public venues except supermarkets and pharmacies have been shut.

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Over 30 coronavirus cases have been detected in the city since the beginning of the outbreak, according to local media reports. Most of the cases are asymptomatic. As of Thursday, some 1,320 close contacts of the infected were identified and placed under medical observation in quarantine hotels.

Some of the infected turned out to be citizens of Myanmar. Ruili effectively forms a single entity with the Burmese city of Muse, which is immediately over the border. It also suffered a Covid-19 outbreak last year, after the virus was imported from Myanmar, prompting a similar lockdown.

China, the first country to identify Covid-19, which has affected the world for over a year, has repeatedly put entire cities and regions into lockdowns over even a handful of cases. Tight measures and mass testing campaigns have seemingly helped Beijing keep the virus at bay, with the nation registering only some 100,000 cases of the disease in total.

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Globally, more than 129,000 million people have contracted coronavirus, with over 2.8 million succumbing to it, the latest figures by the US’ Johns Hopkins University show.

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