Businesses in Chinese border city Ruili resume in an orderly manner
Updated 20:43, 20-Nov-2021
Citizens in Ruili, southwest China's Yunnan Province go to a supermarket to buy daily necessities, November 8, 2021. /CFP

Citizens in Ruili, southwest China's Yunnan Province go to a supermarket to buy daily necessities, November 8, 2021. /CFP

The Chinese border city Ruili in the southwestern province of Yunnan has seen production and business activities resume in an orderly manner after seven days of strict COVID-19 control measures, which started on November 9.

Ruili has conducted nucleic acid tests in the main urban area and in most border villages with no new infections detected. Following mass testing, local restaurants and supermarkets gradually resumed operations.

Since the COVID-19 resurgence in March, tight control measures have been implemented in the city, with many businesses closed, dealing a blow to local people's livelihood.

COVID-19 cases have flared up five times in Ruili since 2020 and brought the city under four lockdowns to curb the spread of the disease.

The city serves as a major gateway to Myanmar and much of the local economy depends on cross-border trade, which adds extra challenges for pandemic control. Cases of illegal border crossings compound the issue.

The central government and Yunnan provincial government have offered about 2.5 billion yuan (about $400 million) in funds and about 37-million-yuan worth of anti-pandemic materials to Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, where Ruili is located.

The city has also introduced measures to subsidize local residents and businesses and help them through economic difficulties. Residents can receive 600 yuan per month each in subsidy and over 3,000 business owners have received 20 million yuan in rent cuts, the Global Times newspaper reported.

Ruili has been under tight COVID-19 controls due to pressure from imported cases. The outbreak has been linked to the Delta strain. Over 20 percent of returnees from overseas to the city tested positive for COVID-19 in October, according to the Global Times.

In October, an article written by Dai Rongli, the former deputy mayor of Ruili, to call for national attention and support for the border city, went viral on social media. The article reflected the public's concerns, to which local authorities quickly responded.

The latest round of the COVID-19 outbreak in China has entered the final stage as eight affected provinces registered no new local cases for more than 14 consecutive days, said a spokesperson for the National Health Commission in a press conference on Saturday.

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