China lifted the lockdown from Wuhan in April despite the warning from researchers and the World Health Organization (WHO) that a new wave of Coronavirus infection is on the cards. Now the northeast Heilongjiang province has emerged as a new battleground in the fight against the Coronavirus as the Chinese authorities reported the highest numbers of new daily cases in nearly six weeks, mostly due to infected foreign travelers.
China is now under the threat of another COVID-19 hit due to the increase in imported cases that could push the country to impose another lockdown and cause disruption in the process of normalcy.
New Coronavirus threat
In Mainland of China, authorities have recorded a total of 108 new coronavirus cases, a spike from 99 a day earlier and marking the highest number of Coronavirus cases since 143 infections were reported on March 5. As per the National Health Commission in China, 98 of the new cases were imported which is a new record. The authority revealed that 49 Chinese nationals who went to Heilongjiang province, located near the border of Russia, tested positive.
A resident of the border city of Suifenhe revealed that the residents of the small town thought their area was the safest place. He mentioned, "Some Chinese citizens they want to come back, but it's not very sensible, what are you doing coming here for?"
It should be noted that while China reported a sharp drop in the daily infection cases, the authorities are now worried that the rise in imported COVID-19 cases could make the situation worse again.
Border cities in China
The cities near the Russia border area are strengthening the border control protocols. These Chinese cities also imposed stricter quarantines in response to the infection spread in the country. It should be noted that Suifenhe announced restrictions on movements and gatherings similar to those imposed in Wuhan city last week. The city also extended the closure of its border with Russia, which has recorded 15,770 infection cases and 130 fatalities due to COVID-19.
After the Kremlin imposed aviation ban, the land route through Suifenhe had become one of few options available for Chinese nationals to get into their homeland. Along with Suifenhe, the capital of Heilongjiang province Harbin is currently under 28 days of quarantine for all arrivals from abroad. The healthcare authorities are also conducting nucleic acid and antibody tests on foreign travelers. As per the local residents of Suifenhe, many people had left the city as the number of infected people crossing the border from Russia started to rise.
Earlier Professor Li Lanjuan, a member of Beijing's expert team on the COVID-19 in Wuhan said the control and prevention of imported Coronavirus cases was an 'arduous' task for healthcare workers and it "requires us to continue to intensify our efforts and work tirelessly to prevent the Coronavirus pneumonia epidemic from spreading in other cities." She also mentioned that "imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country."