Sorry Ppl, couldn’t help myself – Mick Raven
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Chinese Authorities apologise for breaking into 84 homes to check for hidden close contacts
19th July 2022
Authorities in southern China have apologised for breaking into the homes of people who had been taken to a quarantine hotel.
It’s the latest example of heavy-handed virus-prevention measures that have sparked a rare public backlash.
State media said that 84 homes in an apartment complex in Guangzhou city’s Liwan district had been opened in an effort to find any “close contacts” hiding inside and to disinfect the premises.
The doors were later sealed and new locks installed, the state-owned Global Times newspaper reported.
On Monday, the Liwan district government apologised for such “oversimplified and violent” behaviour, the paper said.
An investigation has been launched and “relevant people” will be severely punished, it reported.
China’s leadership has maintained its hard-line “zero-COVID” policy, despite the mounting economic cost and disruption to the lives of its citizens, who continue to be subjected to routine testing and quarantines.
Strict anti-COVID-19 measures have tested the tolerance of many, including people in Shanghai.(Supplied: China Daily)
Numerous cases of police and health workers breaking into homes around China in the name of anti-COVID-19 measures have been documented on social media.
In some, doors have been broken down and residents threatened with punishment, even when they tested negative for the virus.
Authorities have demanded keys to lock in residents of apartment buildings where cases have been detected, steel barriers erected to prevent them leaving their compounds and iron bars welded over doors.
China’s Communist leaders exert stringent control over the government, police and levers of social control.
Most citizens are inured to a lack of privacy and restrictions on free speech and the right to assembly.
However, the strict anti-COVID-19 measures have tested that tolerance, particularly in Shanghai, where a ruthless and often chaotic lockdown spurred protests online and in person among those unable to access food, health care and basic necessities.
Authorities in Beijing have taken a gentler approach, concerned with prompting unrest in the capital ahead of a key party congress later this year, at which President and party leader Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third, five-year term.
China’s borders remain closed as domestic tourism rises
A requirement that only vaccinated people could enter public spaces was swiftly cancelled last week after city residents denounced it as having been announced without warning and unfair to those who have not had their shots.
“Zero COVID” has been justified as necessary to avoid a wider outbreak among a population that has had relatively little exposure to the virus and less natural immunity.
China is regulating travel and access to public places.(Reuters: Aly Song)
Although China’s vaccination rate hovers at around 90 per cent, it is considerably lower among the elderly, while questions have been raised about the efficacy of China’s domestically produced vaccines.
Chinese vaccines made with older technology proved fairly effective against the original strain of the virus, but much less so against more recent variants.
Now health experts say the delay in approving mRNA vaccines — a consequence of placing politics and national pride above public health —
could lead to avoidable COVID-19 deaths and deeper economic losses.
China’s national borders remain largely closed and, although domestic tourism has picked up, travel around the country remains subject to an array of regulations, with quarantine restrictions constantly in flux.
In one recent incident, some 2,000 visitors to the southern tourist hub of Beihai were forced to prolong their stays after more than 500 cases were found and the visitors were barred from leaving.
China regulates travel, and access, to public places through a health code app on citizens’ smartphones that must be updated with regular testing.
The app tracks a person’s movements as a form of contact tracing, allowing a further imposition of public monitoring.
Those measures remain in place, despite relatively low rates of infection.
On Tuesday, the National Health Commission announced just 699 new cases of domestic transmission had been detected over the previous 24 hours, the bulk of which were asymptomatic.
Or how about….
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