Chinese city evicts '1,000 people' and puts them in quarantine

Chinese city evicts '1,000 people' and puts them in quarantine


Locked-down Chinese city evicts ‘1,000 people’ from their homes at midnight and transports them to quarantine facilities – days after people complained they were ‘starving’

  • 30 buses arrived just after midnight on Jan. 1 to take away 1,000, locals claim 
  • 13million residents of Xian have been under tough lockdown rules since Dec. 23
  • They can’t leave home to get food and have to rely on officials for deliveries
  • Comes as Beijing seeks to eradicate disease ahead of Winter Olympics in Feb 

A locked-down city in China has turfed 1,000 people out of their homes at midnight and carted them off to grim quarantine facilities, according to local reports.

Xian’s 13 million residents have been confined to their homes since December 23 and are banned from leaving even for food and essential supplies, having to rely on local officials to drop off care packages.

The popular tourist hub, famed for its Terracotta Warriors, has reported 1,600 cases since December 9 – and although this may seem a small figure, Beijing is desperate to stamp out the virus ahead of the Winter Olympics next month.

But its aggressive ‘zero Covid’ strategy is being tested to the limits by the new epicentre of Xian.   

In the latest shocking measure, 30 busses turned up in the Mingde 8 Yingli neighborhood at just after midnight on January 1 and ordered all residents they must leave and go into quarantine.

Health officials in full PPE stand beside busses and police cars in pictures uploaded to Chinese social media site Weibo from Xian

A line of busses are seen surrounding the block during the quarantining in Xian, left; and residents are escorted from their homes with luggage prepared for their quarantine, right

China has seen a recent spike in infections, the majority from the city of Xian, but the official figures remain very low 

Xian, a city of 13 million, is a tourist hotspot famed for its Terracotta Warriors. It is a two hour flight from Beijing which hosts the Winter Olympics in February 

Pictures uploaded to Chinese social media site Weibo showed health officials in full PPE standing beside a convoy of busses flanked by police cars.

One user claimed that up to 1,000 people were carted off, while another said that 30 busses were spotted around their block.

Further images posted online purported to show the austere living quarters inside the quarantine facilities, with cheap bunk beds and tiny desks.

Others claimed that the rooms were cold and that the officials had not made proper arrangements for accommodated children and elderly people.

‘There is nothing here, just basic necessities… Nobody has come to check up on us, what kind of quarantine is this? They did a big transfer of us, more than a thousand people, in the night and many of us are elderly people and children. They didn’t make any proper arrangements and so they just carelessly placed us [here],’ read one comment posted by an affected resident.

It is just the latest incident in the locked-down city to spark fury online amid claims that residents have been left to starve shut up in their homes because authorities have failed to bring them food.

Officials admitted at a press conference last week that ‘low staff attendance and difficulties in logistics and distribution’ had led to trouble providing essential supplies to the populace.

‘I’m about to be starved to death,’ wrote one person on Weibo last week. ‘There’s no food, my housing compound won’t let me out, and I’m about to run out of instant noodles … please help!’ 

‘I don’t want to hear anymore about how everything is fine,’ said another. ‘So what if supplies are so abundant – they’re useless if you don’t actually give them to people.’ 

Pictures posted online purported to show the austere living quarters inside the quarantine facilities, with cheap bunk beds 

The grim furniture of the quarantine facilities in Xian

Xian official Chen Jianfeng told reporters that the local government had mobilised enterprises to step up community distribution, with cadres supervising wholesale markets and supermarkets.

‘We’re trying our best to assist in the problem of staff turnout, and are issuing passes for vehicles that guarantee the supply of necessities,’ he said.

Xian reported a paltry 90 new local virus cases on Monday, down from 122 cases a day before. 

‘We have entered a general state of attack,’ said provincial official Liu Guozhong according to an official notice, adding that it was necessary to achieve the goal of clearing society of coronavirus cases as soon as possible.

A medical worker tests a resident in Xian on Sunday

Two workers cross the roads in the deserted city of Xian on December 31

A truck sprays disinfectant on street in Xi’an in China’s northern Shaanxi province on December 31

On Sunday, Xian announced that two senior Communist Party officials from the Yanta district had been removed from their posts, according to local media, in a bid to ‘strengthen the work of epidemic prevention and control’ in the area.

Last month, China’s disciplinary body announced that dozens of officials were punished for ‘insufficient rigour in preventing and controlling the outbreak’.

China reported a total of 161 cases, with the majority in Shaanxi province, where Xian is the capital.

There were no new fatalities, leaving the death toll unchanged at 4,636. 

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