The fact that 27 people lost their lives in the accident in the state where only 2 people died due to the virus since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic led to the questioning of the logic of the measures. Many users on social media expressed their sadness about the deaths and criticized the measures.
The bus carrying 47 passengers, which was placed under mandatory quarantine in the Yuyan district of the provincial center of Guiyang, overturned on the highway at night, leaving 27 people dead and 20 injured in the accident.
In the statement made after the accident, the police avoided giving details about the cause of the accident and the identity of the passengers.
After the reactions, Deputy Mayor of Guiyang Lin Gang said in a statement that the bus carried passengers to Libo county, 260 kilometers from the city, and apologized for the accident.
Lin declined to mention the government’s role in the accident and didn’t explain why he apologized, but said they would review “the safety risks in sending people into quarantine,” confirming that his bus was carrying quarantined passengers.
The Guicou State Government reported that three officials in Yunyan County were dismissed. It was reported that Communist Party District Secretary Cu Gang, Deputy Police Chief Xiao Lingyun, and Song Chingqiang, who was responsible for the deportation of the quarantined, were investigated regarding the accident.
“COVID didn’t kill, they died on the way to quarantine”
After the accident, many people on social media and on the Internet voiced their criticism of the consequences of the extremely strict measures and restrictions against COVID-19.
A user on the social networking site Weibo said, “What will the government say to the public? COVID didn’t kill these people, they died on the way to quarantine.” used the phrases.
Another user said, “This is the biggest tragedy caused by unscientific COVID control measures.” made his comment.
A woman who lost her mother in the accident said, “My mother had spent half of this month at home, she had not been outside except for COVID-19 tests. Her health code was green and she had a negative test result. However, she was dragged into quarantine and died on the way. I cannot accept such an end.” she wrote.
More than 69 thousand shares were shared on Weibo after the accident, and discussions related to the accident were viewed more than 400 million times.
Many users also questioned why the bus was on the no-access highway at night and why people were deported to a mountainous town for quarantine.
Photos circulating on the Internet showed that the driver and passengers on the bus were wearing protective overalls, eye shields and gloves before the accident.
The city had gone into shutdown at the beginning of the month.
Guicou province’s central city of Guiyang was shut down earlier this month due to rising COVID-19 cases.
In the statement they made before the accident, health officials had stated that 7 thousand 396 people were sent to centers outside the city due to the insufficient capacity of the quarantine facility in the city with a population of 6 million, and that 2 thousand 900 more would be sent in the coming days.
According to National Health Commission data, only 2 people have died from the virus since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
China is implementing a “zero case” strategy against COVID-19, which aims to suppress cases where they arise and cut the chain of transmission. The strategy calls for strict and wide-ranging measures such as quarantine, travel restrictions, mass testing, and restriction of activity by businesses in manufacturing, trade and services. The measures lead to debates in terms of the difficulties encountered in accessing food, medicine and health care and their economic costs, as well as interfering with the daily life and personal freedoms of citizens.