Chinese city on Russian border to halt some rail imports on virus fears

FILE PHOTO: Man wearing a face mask walks on a street in Suifenhe
·1 min read

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese city of Suifenhe, which lies on the border with Russia, will suspend imports of some commodities by rail from midnight on Monday to prevent potential transmission of the coronavirus through goods, local media reported.

Imports of non-containerised goods such as coal, fertiliser, non-gold mineral ore and agricultural byproducts will be affected, as well as others that require manual loading and unloading, Suifenhe media and state broadcaster CCTV quoted the local epidemic prevention and control authorities as saying.

The reports described the action by Suifenhe, which is in northeast China around 160 km (100 miles) from Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, as "temporary control measures".

In April 2020, Suifenhe became China's frontline in its attempts to fend off a second wave of COVID-19 as Chinese nationals sought to return home from Russia.

Countries around the world are now tightening restrictions on transport and travel again as the WHO warns the recently identified Omicron variant of the coronavirus carries a very high risk of a surge in cases.

(Reporting by Ella Cao and Tom Daly; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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