Under the COVID-19 pandemic, China rolled out a system of health codes with three colors red, yellow and green, to control the movement of people. However, Hunan Province has just introduced a new color “blue” on Friday, November 25. Locals told Radio Free Asia that there is another “purple code” that only a few groups got, but the details are unknown. So for now, the flow of people is tracked in real time by five color codes: red, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

On Friday, some people in Hunan were shocked to see that their health code had turned blue. Someone on Chinese social media Douyin said that many people in Hunan woke up to see their health code turn blue in surprise. 

Official notice says that blue codes are for returnees, meaning people who moved back to Hunan from other provinces. Those who got this blue code can work, see a doctor, go to school, take public transportation, but they can not go to catering services, shopping malls, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, beauty salons, (foot) baths, indoor fitness.

Mr. Li is a resident in Hunan. He told Radio Free Asia that there is also a purple color code. He said that the government uses color codes to tell apart the status of various groups of people. So for now there are five codes: green, blue, purple, red, and yellow. But in the future there might be even more codes with new functions.

According to Mr. Li., epidemic prevention is just an excuse. The authorities wants to fully monitor the locations of the people. The health code then acts as a kind of tracker. In the future, each health code might have a different color. Each color will mean something different, and special personnel can report to a higher-level leading agency to find your cell phone.

How troublesome is the health code?

For example, on Thursday, November 24, the Paper reported that 200,000 people in Qujing, Yunnan Province, were given yellow codes. They were told to get five COVID tests within five days and could not go out at all. 

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