From August to September, many regions of Xinjiang were placed under strict lockdown adhering to the regime’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy. 

People in affected areas were forbidden to leave their homes unless necessary. Residents also suffered from severe food shortages, medicine, and other necessities.

Urumqi city, the capital of Xinjiang, has recently started to care about the employment of stranded passengers at the station. Many people suspected the move meant there was no plan to lift the lockdown soon.

Authorities in Urumqi held a press conference on pandemic prevention and control on October 6.

At the meeting, Ding Zhijun, head of the Urumqi Economic and Technological Development Zone (Toutunhe District), introduced plans for stranded passengers at Urumqi Station.

Previously, trains and passenger cars have been temporarily suspended starting from October 4.

86 passengers were stranded at Urumqi Station as of October 6.

According to Ding Zhijun, 80% of these people are migrant workers.

The authorities are organizing staff to gather stranded passengers’ employment demands.

The topic then aroused the public’s discussion. Many netizens questioned the possibility of the authorities’ plans while several companies in Xinjiang were shut down due to the COVID outbreak.

The severe lockdown has created misery for the local ethnic minorities. 

According to Radio Free Asia, city officials and police in Yining confirmed the death of at least 22 people on September 15.

About 13 Uyghurs in Xinjiang also died from poisoning after authorities sprayed COVID disinfectant to prevent the pandemic from spreading.

Countless videos and social-media posts from Xinjiang appeared to be censored after posting. 

In these videos, the children, the sick, and the elderly lie on beds, and they cannot access food or medical treatment. 

Chinese authorities continue to double down their efforts to curb COVID outbreaks on the eve of the 20th Communist Party congress this year. 
Xinjiang Autonomous Region Party Secretary Ma Xingrui pointed out that guaranteeing the Party’s 20th National Congress was “the most important political task at present” and demanded that residents not go out of Xinjiang unless necessary.

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