Many areas in China continue strict lockdowns as Beijing tries to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus while also repressing any negative news about the pandemic. The communist regime has been carefully manipulating coronavirus data to make it seem like the government has everything under control. But ground reports suggest otherwise .
Early this month on the Chinese social media site Weibo, a person from Shijiazhuang posted a government document that showed six cases of infection. However, the administration only announced one reported case of infection during that period. That means that they hid at least five cases from the public. The city also recently entered “wartime” status, which is the first time since the pandemic began a year ago.
Recently, government documents were leaked to CNN detailing the health data from Hubei, where the coronavirus is believed to have originated. The documents suggest that thousands of new infection cases were not reported by authorities in the early period of the viral outbreak. For instance, officials had recorded the number of infections on Feb. 10, 2020, as 5,918. But only 2,478 cases were reported, less than half the original number. On March 7, the actual death toll was 3,476 while the public number was 2,986.
Andrew Mertha, director of the China Studies Program at John Hopkins University, said that the data in the documents would allow officials to draw whatever conclusions they wanted.
“China had an image to protect internationally, and lower-ranking officials had a clear incentive to under-report — or to show their superiors that they were under-reporting — to outside eyes,” he told CNN.
Mertha believed that local officials might have underreported to hide their lack of preparation in handling the CCP virus
While the public is kept in the dark about the scale of the pandemic, Chinese people also have been forced to abide by excessively harsh lockdown restrictions. In the Jinzhou District in Dalian, for example, officials have locked down the entire region. No one besides the epidemic prevention workers and medical staff are allowed to move freely. If someone violates the rules, he will be sent to a quarantine center for 21 days. He would have to bear all the expenses of the stay.
According to one resident from Dalian, authorities are refusing to solve issues like food shortages. He notes that people are being treated like “lambs to be slaughtered” and that everyone is stocking up as much food as possible to survive the lockdown. Some residential compounds in Shenyang have been surrounded by fences to keep people inside. Some of these fences have sharp blades at the top to ensure that no one can climb over them.
The government is suppressing people from talking about the lockdowns in Dalian and Shenyang. One person lamented that if an individual from a family contracts the virus, the entire family will likely get infected since everyone is then locked in their home with the infected person.
A new coronavirus strain has also surfaced in China. A video interview from The Epoch Times shows a doctor talking about an outbreak on Jan. 2 in Shenyang. He said that the outbreak is critically serious and that the virus is spreading fast.
“I need to go out [to pick up patients] four or five times every day … I suspected the virus [in Shenyang] is a new variant,” he said in the video. Unfortunately, the global public will likely not hear about this new strain given Beijing’s history of suppressing any information about the virus.