China warned that Covid-19 infections risk spreading through the mainland after at least 16 cases were found in cities bordering North Korea, which is struggling to contain one of its worst health crises in years.
Border areas in China’s northeastern province of Jilin, which shares a long frontier with coronavirus-hit North Korea, reported domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections of unknown origin, a Chinese health official said on Friday.
The outbreak had shown a trend of spreading from border areas to inland areas, Lei Zhenglong, of China’s National Health Commission, told a news briefing.
Jilin province also shares a short border with Russia and Lei did not specify which border he was referring to or say how many cases had been found.
This month, isolated North Korea announced its first COVID outbreak since the pandemic emerged in China more than two years ago, declaring the “gravest national emergency” and imposing a national lockdown.
Jilin’s daily tally of new cases for the past five days has been in the single digits. Many of the cases reported in recent days were in places near North Korea.
The province has not confirmed COVID patients among international travellers recently.