A Beijing resident is asking for help in Chinese social media after being pushed into a low-quality centralized quarantine. 

As part of Covid-combat measures, Beijing authorities force close contacts of positive cases to be quarantined at large-scale centralized isolation sites. However, some of these temporary quarantine sites have extremely poor sanitation which can cause possible health problems.

Quarantine site bad conditions

On Thursday, May 25, Weibo user @ Xu Ye-Angel Investor posted a series of comments complaining about the bad conditions at an isolation center in Yancun town, Beijing. 

She said that the conditions are extremely poor. The strong-smelling formaldehyde is too much. Full of pungent odor. Sanitary conditions are bad. The place is messy, with cigarette butts. The quilt is not washed. Mosquitoes and flies are flying all around.  And the children are bitten by mosquitoes. The food is bad too. 

The medical staff even revealed that some people who lived here before had tested positive for Covid, which can pose a potential risk of cross-infection.

Xu Ye came here with her parents and children, along with other residents of her community.

This site is not only unsuited for her parents because they have underlying diseases but also for many young kids.

Xu Ye has posted videos and images on her Weibo account. In the video, a young girl about two or three years old has a continuous nosebleed. After noticing the blood, the kid quickly grabs some toilet paper to block the nostrils. 

She wrote: 

“The children at the isolation point started to have nosebleeds. One child bleeds four times a day today. The formaldehyde was too serious!”

She then sent 5 tearful emojis and asked:

[quote]  “In order to fight the epidemic, is it okay for children to have leukemia ?” [end-quote]

The post and the related video have now been deleted and censored. 

She also retweeted a cry for help from another resident.

Forced one-size-fits-all isolation

In her Weibo post, Xu Ye also talked about her family. She lives with her husband, her parents, and her mother-in-law. The three elderly people in her family all have underlying diseases.

Her mother-in-law not only has severe high blood pressure, but she also could not walk easily due to trauma. Her child just turned 2 years old this April.

On Wednesday afternoon, May 25, the authority announced that her parents are close contacts and would need to be quarantined. 

She told the community that her parents had serious underlying diseases and should only be quarantined at home, but they do not allow it. The community police called her and said, 

[quote] “You have to go, you have to go as long as you are not paralyzed in bed.” [end-quote]

In the evening, the epidemic prevention staff called again and said that all the people in the building had to leave. 

Xu Ye questioned this order because her family had been self-isolated at home for 11 days, so they could not be considered close contacts.

But another staff said that the Chinese CDC has said so. There’s no other way around it.

In the end, Xu Ye’s family along with the whole community were taken on a bus and sent to the quarantine site at Fangshan Yan Village early the next day, May 26. They arrived at about 2 o’clock but had to wait on the bus for the whole two hours before being allowed to get off and check in. They were struggling all night long. 

Many Chinese netizens show sympathy for Xu Ye’s situation and what happened to her loved ones and other residents. Some told her to open the windows as much as possible to let the air out if she could not leave the room. Some told her to leave when there’s a chance. Some wished her to be mentally stronger and tougher.

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