Chinese authorities apologize for COVID-19 hacks

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Authorities in southern China have apologized for breaking into the homes of people who were taken to a quarantined hotel in the latest abuse. virus prevention measures which provoked a rare public reaction.

State media reported that 84 houses in a residential complex in Guangzhou’s Liwan District were opened to find “close contacts” hiding inside and to disinfect the premises.

The doors were later sealed and new locks installed, according to the Global Times newspaper.

On Monday, the Liwan District government apologized for the “too simplistic and cruel” behavior, the newspaper reported. An investigation has been launched and “relevant persons” will be severely punished, the report said.

A man takes a throat swab at a testing site as people must test negative for COVID in the last 72 hours before entering some buildings and using public transportation in Beijing, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

A man takes a throat swab at a testing site as people must test negative for COVID in the last 72 hours before entering some buildings and using public transportation in Beijing, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

TUCKER CARLSON: NO GROUP GAINED MORE FROM COVID THAN COMMUNIST CHINA

Chinese leadership maintained its tough zero-COVID policy despite rising economic costs and disruption to citizens who continue to be subjected to routine testing and quarantine even as the rest of the world is open to life with the coronavirus. disease.

Numerous cases have been documented on social media of police and medical workers breaking into homes across China in the name of COVID-19 control measures. Some had their doors broken down and residents threatened with punishment even if they tested negative for the virus. Authorities have demanded keys to lock residents into apartment buildings where cases have been identified, to install steel barriers to keep them from leaving their homes, and iron bars welded to doors.

China’s communist leaders exercise strict control over the government, the police, and the levers of social control. Most citizens are accustomed to the lack of privacy and the restriction of freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

However, strict COVID-19 measures have tested this tolerance, especially in Shanghai, where the relentless and often chaotic lockdown has sparked protests online and in person among those unable to access food, health care and basic necessities.

Residents wearing masks walk past a poster that reads: "Free vaccinations up to 1000 yuan" in Beijing, Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Masked residents walk past a banner reading “Free vaccination up to 1,000 yuan” in Beijing, Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

SHANGHAI REOPENS CINEMAS BUT COVID RISK ‘RELATIVELY HIGH’

Beijing authorities have taken a softer stance, fearful of provoking unrest in the capital ahead of a key party convention later this year, in which party leader and President Xi Jinping is expected to receive a third five-year term amid a drastic economic slowdown and high unemployment among college graduates. and migrant workers. The requirement that only vaccinated people be allowed to enter public places was quickly dropped last week after city residents denounced it as unannounced and unfair to those who had not been vaccinated.

“Zero-COVID” was justified as necessary to avoid a wider outbreak in a population that had relatively little exposure to the virus and weak natural immunity. Although vaccination rates in China hover around 90%, they are significantly lower among the elderly, while questions have been raised about the effectiveness of Chinese-made vaccines.

Although China’s Fosun Pharma has reached an agreement to distribute and eventually manufacture the mRNA vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, it has yet to be approved for use in mainland China despite being cleared for use by individual authorities in Hong Kong and Macau.

Research consistently shows that inoculation with the mRNA vaccine provides the best protection against hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Chinese vaccines made using the old technology proved to be quite effective against the original strain of the virus, but much less effective against later versions.

Masked guards stand on watch in Nanluoguxiang, a popular tourist destination in Beijing, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

Masked guards stand on watch in Nanluoguxiang, a popular tourist destination in Beijing, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

FLOODING IN CHINA KILLED AT LEAST 12, THOUSANDS EVACUATED

Now, health experts say a delay in approval of an mRNA vaccine — a consequence of putting politics and national pride ahead of public health — could lead to preventable coronavirus deaths and deeper economic losses.

China’s national borders remain largely closed, and while domestic tourism is picking up, travel within the country is still subject to a range of regulations and quarantine restrictions are constantly changing.

In one recent incident, about 2,000 visitors to the southern Beihai tourist center were forced to extend their stay after more than 500 cases were found and were banned from leaving.

An elderly man wearing a mask waits near a poster promoting vaccination on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, in Beijing.

An elderly man wearing a mask waits near a poster promoting vaccination on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, in Beijing.
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guang)

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The local government struggled to find hotel rooms for those who were already prepared to return home, while hotels and airlines refunded money to those who had booked vacations in the city that had to be cancelled.

China regulates travel and access to public places through the health code application on citizens’ smartphones, which must be updated with regular testing. The app tracks a person’s movements as a form of contact tracing, allowing for further public scrutiny.

The measures remain in place despite relatively low infection rates. The National Health Commission on Tuesday announced just 699 new cases of domestic transmission detected in the previous 24 hours, most of which were asymptomatic.