Thousands of Chinese people have canceled trips to Muse, Shan State, on the border with China, due to fears of the spreading coronavirus.
The illness, which was traced to the city of Wuhan, had infected some 4,500 people in China at the time of reporting, and has been identified in more than 15 countries. More than 100 people have died from the virus.
According to locals in Muse, some 10,000 Chinese nationals visited the border down during the Lunar New Year period last year, and a similar number were expected this year.
Nearly 8,000 Chinese tourists usually visit Namkham and Muse towns during this period, tourism business operator Sai Hla, told SHAN, adding that he had been told that at least 4,000 people had called off their travel plans.
With the aim of containing the virus, Chinese officials temporarily closed hotels, casinos, and Shweli Park in Ruili town, which is opposite Muse in Yunnan Province, on January 26. However, the border between Muse and Ruili remains open.
84467592 488320465429278 7451934813096771584 nThe gates are still open, but the number of travelers is dramatically reduced. A medical check is made at the border gates, Muse local Sai Oum Khur told SHAN.
Locals expressed concern that the healthcare departments in the border regions of Muse and Namkham had not yet started an awareness campaign about how people should protect themselves from or limit exposure to the coronavirus.
SHAN called the Muse Township public health department for comment but received no response at the time of reporting.
The Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army released a statement also closing all public sites, performances and religious ceremonies on January 26. The group also banned the sale of endangered wildlife in the town’s market and restaurants; the virus has been linked to trade in rare animals.
Source: The Shan Herald Agency for News