With the upcoming 20th CCP Congress just weeks away, where Xi Jinping’s leadership will be at stake, the zero COVID policy implemented by the Chinese Communist Party is wreaking havoc in China.
In recent weeks, several international media outlets reported total shutdowns in several Chinese cities due to new cases of COVID-19, mostly asymptomatic.
Shenzhen is a major technology hub with thousands of businesses selling electronic components. Several districts of the city were ordered to close, with barricades set up, blocking access to residential areas, apartment buildings, and businesses.
Measures to contain the spread of the 13 reported cases in a city of more than 17 million included complying with mass testing every 24 to 48 hours, presenting a negative test result to enter government or private offices, as well as closing subway stations.
A Chinese YouTuber showed scenes of a recent shutdown in Wuhan, where the pandemic originated in late 2019, people were shouting for the opening of the zone, while local police rushed to form a human chain and prevent the protesters from leaving.
According to reports from Chinese media Da Ji Yuan, there were several protests at Panloncheng in Wuhan’s Huangpi district. A Chinese businessman said that Wuhan was under a partial shutdown and that people should follow the order to “stay at home.” A resident told Da Ji Yuan: “We have been under lockdown for 10 days now because it was reported that there was a positive case.”
The strict confinement of nearly 10 days and the communist regime’s zero COVID policy measures pushed residents to the limit of their tolerance. On September 3, they took to the streets to protest for an end to the lockdown and a return to normal life. A Panlong resident, Zhang Qing, told Da Ji Yuan that on September 4 thousands of people protested in various communities. “The day before, one of the barricades was opened and people came out on the streets. The security guards could not contain the people. You could hear the cries of neighbors calling for an end to the encirclement,” Zhang added.
The authorities have not responded to residents’ demands. Panlong has been locked down since August 26. Residents have not received food supplies or any other assistance from the government. Some online food delivery services do not deliver to confined areas, while others do, however, the price is much more expensive.
According to official reports, there were 12 new asymptomatic infections in Wuhan on September 3, nine were in Huangpi District. The Chinese Communist Party systematically covers up data on the pandemic, so it has not been possible to verify any information.
The outbreak started on August 24, when two asymptomatic positive cases were reported during daily mass testing in Wuhan. One of the positive cases was from the Huangpi District.
A few hours later, local authorities gave the order to cancel public transportation service, and both subway and buses were suspended.
According to one of the Huangpi residents interviewed by Da Ji Yuan, this new wave of contagions, with only nine confirmed cases so far, is related to slaughterhouses. “At least five or six slaughterhouses are affected. Butchers pass it on to buyers, and meat sellers in vegetable markets pass it on to customers, including those far from urban areas.” Since the start of the pandemic in Wuhan, according to information provided by the CCP, the main source of the new waves of infections has been vegetable and fresh food markets.
Confinements continue in major Chinese cities
With the approach of the 20th Party Congress, shutdowns and lockdowns in various cities across China have been strict and made daily life for residents extremely difficult.
Since August, not only is the heat plaguing China, but also new infections are spreading across the country.
The recent lockdown of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province and home to more than 20 million people, has been under strict orders since September 1. So far, the local government has given no further information on a possible opening date. Eighty-eight percent of flights at the local airport were canceled.
Shenzhen remains on high alert for the new strain of omicron, although some normalcy is slowly resuming as of Monday, September 5.
“Currently, the COVID situation in the city is serious and complex. The number of new infections remains relatively high and the risk of transmission in the community still exists,” Lin Hancheng, a Shenzhen public health official, said at a press conference late Sunday.
According to Chinese media outlet Caixin, 33 cities are under full or partial shutdown orders, affecting more than 65 million people.
Shanghai went into total lockdown in April and May, due to the pandemic. As China’s largest city and economic center, the Shanghai lockdown had serious financial consequences. According to data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Shanghai’s GDP fell by 13.7% year-on-year in the second quarter.
“As long as China does not relax its COVID policy, any other policy measures are of little value right now,” said the owner of an auto fastener factory surnamed Zheng in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
“Everyone has little confidence or enthusiasm to invest now,” he added.