Xi’an lockdown brings heartbreak and dysfunction as political pressure to contain outbreak grows

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, volunteers dressed in protective suits pack meals to deliver them to people under lockdown in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi province, on Tuesday, January. February 4, 2022. Hospital officials in north China’s Xi’an city were punished after a pregnant woman miscarried after being denied entry, allegedly for not having the results. current COVID-19 testing. (Zhang Bowen / Xinhua / AP)

As the closed Chinese city of Xi’an proclaimed itself victorious this week in its fight to contain the community spread of Covid-19, heartbreaking stories of loss and despair have surfaced on social media, highlighting the immense human cost of the COVID-19 policy. zero Covid from China. .

The city of 13 million has been under strict lockdown since Dec. 23, as it grapples with the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak since Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic. But local authorities have faced public outcry over perceived incompetence and disproportionately harsh measures that critics say damage the lives of those they are supposed to protect.

Over the past two weeks, Chinese social media has been inundated with posts from residents saying they haven’t received food, basic supplies, and even medical care.

A very pregnant woman She was allegedly turned away from a hospital on New Year’s Day because she did not have a valid Covid-19 test, according to a post by a user who said she was the woman’s niece. A video posted on January 3 shows the woman sitting outside with a pool of blood around her feet. She was finally admitted two hours later, but suffered a miscarriage, said the post, shared widely on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo before being removed.

A staff member at Xi’an Gaoxin Hospital, where the woman sought care, told CNN that they were investigating the incident and that the hospital had initially turned the woman away in accordance with government Covid-19 regulations, but refused. to make more comments.

Another user asked for help online Sunday after a local hospital refused to admit his father, who had just suffered a heart attack, because they lived in a “medium risk area” of the city.

He later updated the post on Xiaohongshu, China’s Instagram-like platform, saying that his father was allowed an emergency operation when his situation worsened significantly after several hours. “The delay was too long and the rescue failed. I no longer have a father,” he wrote.

The poignant accounts have sparked a torrent of sympathy and anger online, with many questioning the sacrifice in the name of controlling the epidemic.

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Xi'an Lockdown Brings Anguish As Pressure Mounts To Contain Outbreak

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