China’s new COVID health code has been accused of being a new tool for monitoring Chinese people. 

On Thursday, November 10, China released the “14th Five-Year Plan for National Health Informatization” to speed up the “National Health Informatization Construction.” 

According to that plan, by 2025, China will have in place a “National Health Information Platform Support and Guarantee System” with “unified authority and interconnection.”

According to the plan, the authorities would have full monitoring of every resident’s health information. And each person would have an electronic health code for himself or herself.

Since the pandemic began, China has strictly imposed and maintained a zero-COVID policy. It is a measure accused of limiting the movement and freedom of Chinese people using the electronic health code. Electronic health is often compared to an “electronic shackle.” With the latest announcement, Chinese netizens are worried they would have to wear such a shackle for another three years.

There are three types of health codes: red, yellow and green. 

Rules for health codes are different in each province or city. But Hangzhou city in Zhejiang province stated that red codes mean quarantine for 14 days, yellow codes mean quarantine for 7 days, and green codes mean no restriction. 

Some Chinese local governments use yellow or red codes to restrict people from traveling or force them into quarantine.

Some places use yellow codes on a large scale to force people to take nucleic acid tests. Some places use red codes to control dissidents or rights activists.

According to some analysts, China’s zero COVID policy is not to curb the pandemic but to tighten social control.

This is one of the negative sides of the health code.
One video shows a scene in the street of Wuhan city on Thursday, November 10. A seriously ill person lying on the road was not allowed to enter the hospital just because he had a yellow code.

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