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Inner Mongolian city continues anti-virus efforts

By YUAN HUI in Hohhot and ZHOU HUIYING | | Updated: 2020-11-26 21:08
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A passenger wearing mask is seen on a bus in the China-Russia border city of Manzhouli in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on April 14, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Coronavirus clusters in communities, including infections of schoolchildren, were identified during the latest outbreak in Manzhouli city of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the local government said.

The city reported nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total to 11, and also reported another asymptomatic case and a suspected case, according to the city's health authority.

"Among the universal screening of the 203,326 residents in the city from Sunday to Wednesday, we found 10 positive results," said Guo Xiaofang, deputy mayor of Manzhouli, at a news conference on Thursday. 

"Among them are family members, classmates and their teachers and neighbors in the same residential communities, aged 10 to 62," said Wang Hongquan, director of the Manzhouli disease control and prevention center. "The cases have obvious characteristics of cluster infections."

After the first cases were reported on Saturday, authorities have conducted genetic sequencing, which showed their type of the novel coronavirus belonged to Branch I of the European L genotype, and the comparison showed it was highly similar to the strain that spread in Russia, Wang Wenrui, director of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region disease control and prevention center, said on Thursday.

"It indicated the latest outbreak in the city was triggered by the imported coronavirus infections," Wang Wenrui said, adding investigations into other confirmed cases will also be conducted.

Bus and railway services for passengers were suspended to keep people from gathering and spreading the coronavirus. But vehicles for production, living materials and epidemic prevention are still unblocked to travel across the city, said Liu Li, deputy director of the city's public security bureau, adding the city has taken measures to guarantee necessary supplies.

"Residents can leave the city with negative nucleic acid test results taken within seven days," she added.

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