February 1, 2023

China on Monday reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases in six months, despite multiple lockdowns disrupting the economy and daily life.

Over the weekend, health authorities dispelled hopes of easing the “zero Covid” policy, indicating that they would continue to implement it “steadily” despite population fatigue.

This strategy consists of shutting down entire districts or cities as soon as an infection appears and conducting large-scale testing or even isolating people who test positive and travelers from abroad.

But these restrictions are sometimes combined with poor access to food or health care and the difficulty of getting in and out of China, draining the patience of the Chinese.

On Monday, China’s health ministry announced 5,500 new infections, most of them in the coastal province of Guangdong (south), which is an important manufacturing hub.

Nearly 60 new infections were announced in Beijing on Monday, leading to the closure of schools in Chaoyang, which is home to a shopping district and many embassies, among others.

Orders have also been issued to close a French school with hundreds of students, prompting it to resort to distance learning.

The companies also asked their employees to switch to remote work and conduct a daily PCR examination for three days.

However, municipal authorities said during a press conference on Monday that the recent “epidemic outbreak” is “generally effectively controlled.”

In addition, outrage this weekend was sparked by the suicide of a 55-year-old woman in the closed city of Hohhot in (northern) Inner Mongolia, as Covid restrictions prevented emergency services from intervening, as the authorities themselves acknowledged.

As is sometimes the case in some regions of China, the doors of apartment buildings were closed to prevent entry and exit.

The woman’s two daughters, one of whom shares an apartment with her, alerted the authorities that their mother was worried and suicidal, and futilely demanded her removal.

“Who has the right to close the doors of buildings?” one netizen asked angrily on the Weibo social media platform, adding, “In the event of an earthquake or fire, who will be responsible?”

Local authorities have publicly criticized the poor management of district officials.

Tragedies caused by anti-COVID restrictions happen regularly.

A few days ago, a three-year-old boy died of carbon monoxide asphyxiation in Lanzhou, the closed capital of Gansu Province (northwest).

In a message posted online and then deleted, his father accused quarantine officials of preventing him from accessing the hospital. After that, the district authorities apologized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.