China’s Caixin.com reported on November 22 that an emergency response group of the provincial government of Inner Mongolia in northern China issued a “Work Plan for a Firewall for Exiting Inner Mongolia and entering Beijing” to prevent the spread of the plague. The plan highlights three lines of defense including an early warning of an epidemic situation, investigations by medical institutions, and an inspection of outbound passengers. According to the report, the Xilinhot Airport set up a check point at the entrance, logging the body temperature of every passenger. The Xilinhot Airport is the nearest airport to Xilingol League, where the initial two pneumonic plague patients originated. A body temperature check point was also set up at the highway to Sonid Left Banner, northwest of Xilingol League. All vehicles need to be inspected, and the information of passengers’ names, phone numbers, the point of departure and their destination must be registered. In addition, vehicles carrying livestock, wildlife, or wildlife products are required to register with the agriculture, animal husbandry, or forestry police authorities.
Earlier two patients from Xilingol League of Inner Mongolia were diagnosed in Beijing as having pneumonic plague. Soon afterwards, a patient in Bordered Yellow Banner of Xilingol League was also identified as having the plague. 28 people who were in close contact with this patient are still under medical observation.
The media reported that the recent outbreak of the plague was related to official negligence. This summer, some areas in northern China began to suffer from severe rodent problems. Although there were no new people infected with the plague in Xilingol League, there have been cases of dead animals and animals detected as having a positive plague reaction. There are unconfirmed tweets disclosing that more than 300 villages in northern provinces such as Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Liaoning, and Jilin were completely blocked. Armed police were stationed there and villagers were not allowed to enter or exit. Communications have also been cut off.
Source: Central News Agency, November 22, 2019