Just a few weeks after China designated all its provinces as low or medium risk, an untraced Coronavirus outbreak in the city near the Russian border and the newly identified cases in the initial COVID-19 epicentre Wuhan have triggered fears of a fresh wave of the infection in the country.
On Sunday, China reclassified Shulan, a city near the Russian and North Korean borders, as high risk. Country's national health commission reported 17 new cases on Sunday. The authorities reported five locally transmitted cases were in three provinces which border Russia or North Korea, including three in Jilin, and one each in Heilongjiang and Liaoning.
New Coronavirus wave in China
As per CGTN, Chinese authorities said that the authorities have ordered the temporary closure of all public places in Shulan, including sports facilities, cinemas and libraries. The local authorities also asked people to stay at home except under "unusual circumstances" and said that the students in their final year of the middle or senior school will return to online learning. The authorities also suspended all the public transport.
But the as per the local media reports, the source of the new infection cases remained a mystery. Jilin provincial health commission said that it originated within a 45-year-old woman. But she has no residential or travel history outside the province and has no contact history with people returned from overseas or other provinces.
China has closed the borders and social restrictions on areas bordering Russia after some people returning to China via land borders were diagnosed with COVID-19. As per the local government WeChat account, on May 2 Shulan authorities said that in the last three weeks of April, 308 people who live in Shulan had returned from Russia via Suifenhe and Manzhouli ports.
In Hubei's Wuhan, local authorities also reported five new cases on Sunday, the city's highest number of new infections since 11 March. It should be noted that all these Coronavirus cases are local transmission which are part of the 17 new cases reported nationwide.
After the news came under the spotlight on Chinese social media, people started showing their concerns as one user wrote, "We still need to take protective measures, five cases are really terrible," while another said, "Before [now] there were almost no transfers from asymptomatic to confirmed diagnosis in Hubei province. The government should respond to social concerns in a timely manner."
Another Chinese social media user wrote, "It's not easy to slow down. I felt a little relaxed and now it starts again, and I'm starting to panic again. Come on, Wuhan."