Images of workers fleeing the Foxconn factory facilities in Zhengzhou, China, to escape health restrictions and conditions during isolation continue to circulate in the media and social media, giving a glimpse of what it is like in the country with the world’s toughest zero-Covid policies. The determination of employees to break the rules and people’s fed up with the restrictive measures are encouraging people to defy the authorities in various parts of the country.

On November 8, Zhengzhou witnessed a situation similar to that of the Foxconn employees, but this time at the South Campus of the Yellow River University of Science and Technology, China’s largest private school. More than 30,000 students hurriedly left the premises while cabs and private cars crowded the surrounding streets waiting for the “escapees.” 

From the website, Qin Rui reported that the university was starting vacation, so students quickly packed their belongings to return home. 

After almost half of the student body left the site in the morning, the authorities began to prevent the rest from leaving. They said they needed to send materials for the administration to review. It is not specified what kind of material; it could be administrative material, school material, or the nucleic acid test. Authorities added that they could only leave after approval, which triggered the students to flee in large numbers. 

The campus gates were closed while the logistics staff checked the approval form. However, one of the exits was left unguarded, so students rushed to escape, leaving security personnel behind, unable to stop the human tide.

According to the report, the mass flight occurs because of the fear of catching Covid. Apparently, one person brought the virus into the facility, and contagions were already happening. Some 200 nucleic acid tests were said to be positive. At the same time, students said that food was no longer being distributed on campus by the administration, raising fears of a repeat of the Foxconn situation.

Students said that when they arrived at the Zhengzhou train station to return home, all those coming from Huanghe University were detained, even if they presented their negative antigen certificates. 

Several cities in Henan province announced that returning students from the Yellow River Institute of Science and Technology, Zhengzhou Institute of Finance and Economics, Zhengzhou University, Zhengda University and Zhengzhou University of Light Industry will be placed under emergency investigation for the events.

Chain reaction

On October 8, the state-run China Daily reported that in the city of Linyi, Shandong province, seven members of the epidemic prevention group were detained on charges of dragging and beating residents of Lanshan district during an altercation. However, the censorship of the Chinese regime acted to withhold further details of the incident.

According to The Hindustan Times of India, COVID prevention group workers reacted aggressively after Lanshan residents “argued against Covid’s harsh control measures in their community.”

Police took matters into their own hands after a video showing how employees of the epidemic control group beat and dragged residents into the vehicle went viral.

However, Linyi police also announced in a statement that a crackdown will be taken against those who “violated the personal protection rights of citizens.” A threat to those who dared to take to the streets to challenge the authorities with their protest.

Last week, villagers in Lhasa took to the streets in what would be the largest demonstration in Tibet in 14 years.

The villagers protested against the harsh restrictive measures in the Zero-COVID policy, which have kept them locked up for more than 2 months and suffering from food shortages. Testimonies were reported of people jumping from buildings in desperation, and at least three people died with COVID symptoms because they did not receive the necessary medical attention.

These were the largest protests since the 2008 Tibetan Uprising against the Chinese regime’s mistreatment of its people, where they were harshly suppressed by the Chinese police and military, leaving dozens dead.

This time, police cracked down on and captured nearly 200 people, including both Chinese and Tibetans. They were accused of organizing the demonstration and held inside buildings owned by development companies within the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

To date, only the ethnic Han prisoners have been released. The conditions of the Tibetans and when they will regain their freedom are unknown.

The tragedies caused by these measures and restrictions, which according to many Chinese citizens are unjustifiably harsh, are increasing daily. Along with them grows the anger of a population tired of playing this game. 

A few days ago, the death of a three-year-old child due to the carelessness and coldness of those who applied the zero-COVID policy of the Chinese regime unleashed the fury of the Lanzhou neighbors who took to the streets to shout their frustration and clashed with the police.

The boy suffered gas poisoning at home. His father tried to call for help, but he was not allowed to leave the condominium for lack of the COVID test.

 The boy’s father, Tuo Shilei, told the BBC, “My son’s cause of death was an accident, but during the whole process of our call for help, there was avoidance of responsibility and dereliction of duty. The pandemic control went too far.”

The CCP’s censorship could not control the outrage that multiplied through social media, so the news spread in China and around the world.

The official version that his call for help was answered in 13 minutes was rejected by his father and neighbors, calling it a lie and reinforcing the rage against the authorities.

As of today, the Chinese government has shown no signs of easing the sanitary measures, so tensions will surely continue to rise.

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