The virus is re-emerging in China, which declared victory in the war against COVID-19 in September last year.
In Xian, a metropolis with a population of 13 million, where the entire city is completely blocked, the number of confirmed cases is increasing after the lockdown.
For three days (23-25) after the official lockdown announcement on the 23rd, only 49, 75, and 155 confirmed cases were officially confirmed by the authorities. The number of infections also surged on the 26th, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 635 as of midnight that day.
After the first confirmed case on the 9th, Xi’an maintained the single-digit daily number of new cases for a week, but the number of infections surged from the 18th, which was Saturday.
After the city lockdown was imposed, the spread of the virus has intensified. The actual number of confirmed cases is estimated to be much higher, due to the Chinese authorities’ practice of covering up unfavorable statistics.
Xian authorities announced that 28,893 people were detained in temporary centralized quarantine facilities such as hotels until the 26th, regardless of the number of confirmed cases.
The temporary quarantine facilities the authorities have prepared so far are 278 hotels and 41,671 guest rooms, and there are 7832 more quarantine spaces requisitioned for multi-use facilities such as large restaurants.
According to a source, fear is spreading among local residents that the scale of the spread is much larger than the authorities announced.
Since the first confirmed case on the 9th, temporary testing stations have been set up all over the city of Xi’an. A fourth test of all 13 million residents is underway.
Thirteen million citizens were all locked up in their homes or quarantine facilities.
At the time of the lockdown, each household was allowed to go out to purchase daily necessities once every two days, but after the surge in the number of confirmed cases on the 26th (Sunday), going out was completely banned from Monday.
A local source said that in some large apartment complexes, groceries are allowed to be purchased at the convenience store located within the complex once every two days, but in some regions, it is only possible once every three days.
Food prices have risen sharply in the five days since the city lockdown began.
In an online interview with a local Chinese reporter, Zhou, a woman from Gaosin District, Xi’an City, said, “The price of vegetables has risen three to four times. One cabbage, which cost 7-8 Mao (0.7-0.8 yuan) before the lockdown, sold for 2-3 yuan yesterday,” he said.
According to a local source, citizens who resist coercive quarantine have come to the quarantine station to be tested and have fistfights with quarantine agents.
Some netizens complained on social media that they had to go down to the first floor of the apartment to be tested at 3 am.
Hong Kong’s Xingtao Daily reported that resident Xiao (萧) showed symptoms of fever, sore throat and diarrhea, but was unable to go to the hospital because authorities did not allow him to go out. Mr. Xiao, who was not allowed to go out by the 26th, said, “I have no choice but to break the rules and go out.”
Mr. Lee, who lives with his 80-year-old parents who are diabetic, was completely banned from going out because a confirmed case came out of his area.
If you send an ambulance from the hospital, you can get permission to go out, but even after making 120 calls, you could not find a hospital that would send an ambulance. This is because there were no hospitals that were willing to receive patients from the area where the confirmed cases occurred.
Ms. Li was able to hospitalize her mother through a friend who works at the hospital, but her father, who is not in good condition, is still waiting at home for the day the hospital transfer permit will be issued.
According to local media such as the Tianmu Ilbo, there have been cases of hoarding of daily necessities and robbery in some areas, such as Liangjiajie (梁家街) in Baqiao District.
Officials and media reports point to the PK854 flight that arrived from Pakistan on the 4th as the cause of the outbreak in Xi’an. However, there were no problems as 180 passengers on the flight were quarantined at a nearby hotel after arriving at the airport.
However, it is said that the movement of a Chinese man in his 50s who arrived at the airport to see off his family overlapped with a passenger on the flight, and the man later went around work and supermarkets to cause the spread.
It remains a mystery as to how the flow of a man traveling to the departure hall to see off a flight passenger from a foreign country and his family overlapped, but the authorities have not provided a clear explanation for this.
Instead, 26 related officials were reprimanded and four agencies were warned.
Dr. Lin Xiaoxi, an American expert on China issues, told The Epoch Times, “Disciplinary action for public officials based on responsibility for proliferation is obscuring the essence of the situation. To avoid this, only the lowest level officials are being punished,” he said.
Dr Lin said, “China has implemented irrational and coercive measures to lock down large cities with a population of 13 million to maintain the already failed coronavirus. It is a political quarantine, not a science,” he criticized.
* This article was contributed by reporter Luoya.
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