Amid the National Congress, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has increased its restrictive measures in many cities and regions, affecting tens of millions of unhappy citizens.
As of October 13, authorities in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, require 2 CRP tests per day for three consecutive days in order to use public spaces.
The city had already experienced abuses in its COVID measures in the middle of the year. City authorities used a health app to restrict the arrival of demonstrators protesting against their frozen bank accounts.
In June, several customers reported that while traveling to the bank their health codes suddenly changed to red, while others remained green. Red means that one must remain in quarantine.
The Huadu district in the city of Guangzhou, near Hong Kong, is implementing similar measures, with two tests per day. In addition to closing restaurants and schools.
The measures in Zhejiang province, close to Shanghai, are overwhelming. Some cities require tests 24 hours before a trip. Others one and a half hours after getting to the destination.
New restrictions in Shanghai
The city of 25 million inhabitants, which experienced severe quarantines in April and May, started to increase its measures again.
From October 11 to November 10, authorities reported that they will carry out mass tests twice a week, and will reinforce controls in hotels for travelers arriving to the city.
New closures in the city of Xi’an
The tourist city, capital of Shaanxi province in the center of the country, known for the Terracotta Warriors, has seen its activities curtailed.
On October 12, classes were suspended and public places and tourist attractions were closed.
The city, home to 13 million people, had 1-month lockdowns between last December and January this year, and a few weeks between April and July, which saw food and health supplies affected.
Strict controls in Beijing
Starting October 16, the country’s capital celebrates the 20th Party Congress, one of the most important events where the new leader of the CCP will be elected. And sanitary measures are paralyzing its inhabitants.
The city has a mandatory health application to be able to circulate and make use of public spaces. And many citizens have complained that the app keeps harassing them.
Messages on the app have become common, in one case the pop-up notification did not go away even after vigorously complying with health requirements and undergoing multiple coronavirus tests.
In addition, the government fears any criticism before, and during the Congress, which is why it has banned stores from printing photocopies.
An employee of a photocopy store near the main square, Tiananmen, where the Congress will take place, said he turned away 10 customers who tried to print petitions or court documents about disputes with the government or state-owned enterprises.
Quarantine in Xinjiang and Tibet
The absolute confinement measures, imposed since August this year in the two regions, are unbearable for citizens.
In Xinjiang, home to 22 million, citizens in the affected areas were forbidden to leave their homes, resulting in severe food shortages, medicine, and other basic necessities.
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), on September 15, at least 22 people died starved to death in a single day in Ghulja county, Xinjiang region, due to the strict quarantines.
He added that city officials refuse to discuss names and locations, but gave a range of 20 to 22 deaths for September 15.
One of the officials contacted by RFA said, “There are 20 people who have starved to death. Don’t call back.”
Recently, the Xinjiang government increased “zero-COVID” measures and halted travel outside the region to prevent the spread of the virus.
All outbound trains, interprovincial buses, and most flights will be suspended until further notice, the government said October 6.
In Tibet, controlled by the Chinese regime since 1950, the situation is no better, and has also been under harsh quarantine conditions for 2 months.
Hundreds of residents have reportedly been moved into mass to quarantine centers. And in the capital, Lhasa, these centers have increased, using stadiums, schools, and empty buildings, some unfinished and in very poor condition.
Several videos circulating on social networks denounce the mistreatment and abuse. But, the Chinese regime threatens to punish Tibetans who share information about the situation.
According to RFA, on September 29, at least five Tibetans in the capital took their own lives in these harsh conditions.
Measures exceed prevention
Reports from the government of Guiyang, the capital of the southern province of Guizhou, said there was an accident while moving people to a quarantine area.
In September this year, a bus going to a remote quarantine center with 47 people on board crashed and 27 people died, and the rest had to be hospitalized, Voice of America reported.
Some observers believe that the strict health measures could be used for political purposes.
The CCP could announce in congress a victory over COVID, and lift the restrictions, claiming that its “zero-COVID” policy has worked, and that the regime values life more than economics.
But so far nothing has been announced and, TO the contrary, other critics believe that the CCP will continue to use the policy to repress the country.