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Chinese Woman Freezes to Death in Xi’an After Being Refused Entry to Her Apartment for 16 Days

A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights' related issues, politics, tech and society.
Published: January 26, 2022
This photo taken on December 22, 2021 shows security guards walking in an area that is under restrictions following a recent coronavirus outbreak in Xi'an, a city in China's northern Shaanxi province. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The death of a 29-year-old woman who succumbed to the winter weather after being forced to wait for 16 days outside a security checkpoint of her residence in Xi’an has been publicized on Chinese social media, yet another tragedy in the communist regime’s “Zero-COVID” campaign.

“Security wouldn’t let her in the gate,” the woman’s younger relative, a netizen posting on Chinese social media under the username “Follow Me,” said last week.

“My older sister was 29 years old this year, she worked at Shaanxi Zexi Supply Chain Co., Ltd., a company that helps supply the city during the lockdown,” the user wrote.

“But she was suddenly fired on Dec. 31, 2021. The security guards in the West City Harbor of Huafu, Lianhu District, refused to let her in, and she was forced to stay in a car on the side of the road for 16 days in severely cold winter weather. She died in the car. A young woman’s life ended just like that.”

“She was working to guarantee the people’s welfare during the pandemic, but she was not even able to guarantee her own survival! She wasn’t allowed into her residence just a step away, and died in her car. Here I beg society to give my sister justice!”

Draconian measures lead to tragedy

In its drive to completely eradicate COVID-19 from China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has implemented strict lockdown policies wherever cases of the virus are detected, in many cases leading to violence and tragedy. 

Xi’an, a metropolis of nearly 13 million, has seen some of the harshest measures applied since the initial discovery of COVID-19 in late 2019. With the beginning of widespread lockdowns in the city starting Dec. 23, many residents have taken to social media to voice complaints about brutal or extreme treatment by local officials; the posts have elicited much outrage across the country. 

On New Year day, a woman eight months pregnant suffered a miscarriage outside Xi’an’s Gaoxin Hospital after being refused care until she had tested negative for COVID-19.

After experiencing sharp pains in her stomach, the woman called an ambulance, according to an account posted on Jan. 3 to Chinese social media site Weibo. Without a negative coronavirus test, however, she was told she would have to wait outside the emergency room until a test could be administered.

Two hours later, hospital staff relented when they saw that she was bleeding heavily, but it was too late to save her baby. The post, written by the woman’s niece, gained 6 million views before it was deleted. 

A similar miscarriage incident and other medical tragedies caused by the blanket lockdowns to control the COVID-19 outbreak in Xi’an have also gained traction in the Chinese internet despite heavy censorship

Following the Jan. 1 miscarriage incident, Xi’an’s local government announced on Jan. 6 that Gaoxin Hospital General Manager Fan Yuhui had been suspended and several doctors in the outpatient and medical departments had also been fired.

The city’s health department representative Liu Shunzhi said the incident had “caused widespread concern in society and caused a severe social impact,” and publicly apologized to the woman, who is reportedly “undergoing recovery.” 

On Jan. 6, state media reported on the death of a Xi’an resident who was refused to be seen by several hospitals for severe chest pain. The man’s daughter said her father was in agony for eight hours before finally being admitted to a hospital but were told they had waited too long to seek medical attention and nothing could be done to save him.

Residents in Xi’an have reported being barricaded inside their homes and essential services such as getting groceries and accessing medical care have been virtually halted. More and more posts on social media have started to surface where residents say they are going hungry and unable to buy food. Some residents have resorted to trading items such as iPhones and electronics in exchange for food and supplies.

Recently, protests have erupted across major cities of Tianjin, Shenzhen and Xi’an as desperate residents take to the streets to demand the end of prolonged lockdowns.

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