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China’s zero Covid policy includes midnight evacuations and quarantine in metal boxes

The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that people in China who contract the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are forced to live in cramped metal boxes. The report goes on to say that many of these victims are pregnant women and children.

The report was based on videos that were widely shared on social media, according to the Mail. These videos detail the situation in Xi’an, Anyang, and Yuzhou, where people have been quarantined following the discovery of a few cases of Omicron.

According to the Daily Mail, 20 million people have been quarantined in these cities, including 13 million in Xi’an, and are living in tiny cells. According to the Mail, these people are given wooden boxes and a toilet and are forced to stay in the metal boxes for up to two weeks, as evidenced by videos posted on Chinese social media platforms.

Workers in hazmat suits were also seen providing food to these people in the videos. According to the Mail, some of them have complained that there isn’t much food left in the freezing metal boxes.

Several residents of sealed cities told the BBC that they were part of a “massive transfer” of thousands of people to the camps.

“There’s nothing here but the bare essentials… Nobody has come to check on us, what kind of quarantine is this?” a user wrote in one of the social media comments.

When a Covid-19 positive case is discovered in a city, authorities order residents to leave their homes and board buses that transport them to quarantine centres, which are metal boxes. According to the Daily Mail, some of the residents were asked to leave shortly after midnight.

The measures are part of China’s strict Covid-zero policy, which aims to end the outbreak before the Lunar New Year and the Winter Olympics, which are coming up next month.

In one of the harshest punishments for lapses in enforcing the government’s strict Covid-zero policy, China sentenced three people to more than four years in prison for breaking rules that led to the Covid-19 outbreak in the port city of Dalian. According to local media, the oversight allowed four people to infect 83 others.

However, the measures aren’t proving to be very effective. Aside from Dalian, new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Tianjin, prompting officials to conduct a new round of sample testing among the city’s 14 million residents.

According to national data, Tianjin reported 33 domestically transmitted coronavirus infections with confirmed symptoms on Tuesday, up from 10 the day before.

Mainland China reported 166 local symptomatic cases on Tuesday, up from 110 the day before. This includes infections in Tianjin.

There were no new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 4,636. On the 11th of January, mainland China had 104,189 confirmed symptomatic cases, including both local and international cases.

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