Another Northern Chinese City Orders Mass COVID-19 Testing as Outbreak Intensifies

January 6, 2021 Updated: January 6, 2021

Another northern Chinese city has issued strict controls following a surge in COVID-19 cases.

On Jan. 6, the Shijiazhuang government ruled that all its 11 million residents must take COVID-19 nucleic acid tests within the following three to four days.

A Chinese vaccine specialist also shared his thoughts on social media about the new COVID-19 vaccine approved by authorities, saying it could potentially induce negative side effects.

Outbreak Coverup

On Wednesday, China’s National Health Commission announced dozens of new infections in Hebei Province. The patients were from Shijiazhuang and Xingtai cities.

The commission then designated the whole Gaocheng district of Shijiazhuang city to be a “high-risk region” for contracting the CCP virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. According to the city government, Gaocheng district has 790,100 residents as of the end of 2019.

According to the central government’s guidelines, a region is determined to be “high-risk” when more than 50 residents are diagnosed as COVID-19 patients (not counting asymptomatic carriers, who are considered a separate category in China).

But on Wednesday, state-run Xinhua unexpectedly published a commentary criticizing the Hebei provincial government for underreporting the local outbreak.

“In the past few days, the [Hebei government] really hasn’t publicized enough outbreak-related information, especially the details about diagnosed patients, such as where they live and their activities in the past weeks,” the commentary stated.

The article went on to explain that publishing information about the infections could “calm down the people,” and urged local governments to prepare carefully for outbreak-related press conferences and to organize them regularly.

Strict Controls

The lack of transparent information has frustrated local residents as authorities adopted strict policies in an attempt to contain outbreaks.

The Shijiazhuang government banned all get-togethers and only allowed small-size family parties for weddings and funerals.

It also canceled a large number of flights entering and leaving the city, suspended all passenger bus transportation to other cities, and operated fewer local bus and subway train services.

The city didn’t allow any vehicles to leave the city either.

Furthermore, drivers who drove vehicles with Shijiazhuang license plates reported on Wednesday that Beijing authorities didn’t allow them to enter the city and forced them to continue driving on the highways.

The Hebei Provincial Chest Hospital, No. 5 Shijiazhuang Hospital, and several other hospitals in Shijiazhuang announced that they had stopped receiving new patients.

Panic

Shijiazhuang residents have also started to stock up on foods in preparation for a full lockdown.

On Chinese social media platforms, locals complained that they couldn’t buy cabbage, celery, eggs, instant noodles, and other foods that can be reserved for a relatively longer time, as store shelves were cleared out.

Lin Ming (pseudonym), a student at the Hebei Medical University, told the Chinese-language Epoch Times the reason why students in his university shouted outside their dorm windows on the night of Jan. 4.

“We have been locked inside the campus since the start of this semester in September. In the past few months, teachers, postgraduate students, and seniors could enter and leave the campus freely, but we—students in the other classes—weren’t allowed to leave,” Lin said.

73 Side Effects

Tao Lina is a vaccine specialist based in Shanghai. He posted on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform, a photo of the product instructions for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm, in which 73 side effects were listed.

“Highly likely to have serious side effects such as high blood pressure, loss of vision, loss of taste, and urinary incontinence,” the label stated, according to Tao’s post.

Other listed side effects, such as headache, is a common side effect of inactivated vaccines, Tao noted. Other common effects include soreness in the area of the shot, fever, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, coughing, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and difficulty breathing.

Tao commented: “[This] vaccine has successfully become the least safe vaccine in the world.”

The Weibo post has since been deleted by censors.