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China Seeing Worst Rise in COVID-19 Cases Since Start of Pandemic, More Tragedy and Lockdowns Ensue

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: March 23, 2022
A local resident talks to security wearing protective suits from inside a barricaded community that was locked down for health monitoring after recent cases of COVID-19 were found in the area on March 23, 2022 in Beijing, China. China has stepped up efforts to control a recent surge in coronavirus cases across the country, locking down the entire province of Jilin and the city of Shenyang and putting others like Shenzhen and Shanghai under restrictions. Local authorities across the country are mass testing as China tries to maintain its zero COVID policy. (Image: by Kevin Frayer via Getty Images)

Recently, mainland China and Hong Kong have seen the largest spike in COVID-19 cases in more than two years since the pandemic began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. 

Despite determinedly pursuing one of the world’s strictest virus elimination policies, the recent surge in cases presents a tough challenge to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “Zero-COVID” narrative.

The first signs of strain on the heavy-handed measures began to appear when authorities were forced to impose increasingly large lockdowns, disinfection theatrics, mass testing and travel restrictions triggered by the more infectious Delta variant in 2021. 

As more locked down residents take to social media to voice their dissatisfaction over rapidly dwindling supplies of food and essentials, questions have started to emerge as to how long the CCP authorities can maintain the policies for.

And now the more contagious Omicron variant has called it further into question.

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In mainland China, thousands of cases are now being reported each day and the northeastern province of Jilin, home to roughly 24 million people, has been placed under lockdown — the first time China had restricted an entire province since authorities locked down the entire city of Xi’an for three weeks in late December last year.

Hong Kong, which was previously almost untouched by the virus, is now seeing 30,000 cases and more than 200 deaths a day. The city’s healthcare system is now on the verge of a total collapse, with shocking images and videos of people in need of hospital care receiving rudimentary treatment outside medical facilities or laying on the floor of hospital corridors as beds run out. 

Kindergarten children taken away

Kindergarten children are being forcefully taken away by health officials.

In this video posted on Twitter, children attending a kindergarten in Tianjin City can be seen being taken away by health officials in hazmat suits. The children are crying and asking to see their parents when they are taken to the elevators. In the video, a woman can be heard saying, “Such young children. Poor child! Such small children! Dads and moms are not with you. Ah! Poor child!” 

In this video, a locked down resident can be heard screaming that during lockdowns in Shanghai, seniors, children, pregnant women, and those who tested positive for COVID were all being “quarantined in the same place.”

Dozens of locked-up residents can be heard shouting to be let out. “We want to live!” a man holding a loudspeaker said from inside the fence, adding that everyone was being kept inside, regardless of whether they had tested positive or not. “Don’t you have families? Do you keep your children locked up with infected patients?”

Begging to be let out and beaten for breaking quarantine 

Pandemic officials can be seen forcefully taking an unidentified man away and using excessive force against residents.

This video occurred in Langfang City, Hebei Province where pandemic prevention staff are seen dismissing people and even children. Several people can be seen on their knees begging for help. A staff member says, “If you have any issues, go to the government, not us.” Another man can be heard replying, “The government doesn’t care. These policemen don’t care about them even when they are begging on their knees.”

A heavily patrolled residential area showing police cars and drones being used to keep tabs on locked down residents in Hebei Province.

The Chinese caption reads, “In order to monitor people during the lockdown, bandit authorities in Yanjiao, Hebei have dispatched five drones to patrol the residential area. Whoever walks downstairs and exits the door will be arrested, taken away, or even placed under criminal detention! The authorities do not offer any assistance to the people but use high-tech means to oppress them instead. Many people were so stressed out, they were on the verge of fainting.”

The video shows a chaotic scene in Qingdao, Shandong where pandemic prevention workers can be seen violently beating people in the streets. 

Critically ill patient told to show certificate ‘proving’ that he is near death in order to receive medical attention 

The family can be heard arguing with hospital staff, “What is a near-death certificate?” before near-fighting ensues.

An elderly man in a small district in Zibo City, Shandong Province was very sick and in urgent need of medical attention. Epidemic prevention personnel stopped him and asked for a certificate to show he was “awaiting death” in order to be let inside the hospital. The elderly man’s family members were angry and asked what such a certificate even means. “What is a near-death-certificate? How can we provide proof of someone nearing death? But the staff did not give in.