34,000 Residents Moved from Southern China City to Isolation Facilities

Residents compare the chaos to the Cultural Revolution

34,000 Residents Moved from Southern China City to Isolation Facilities
People line up for COVID-19 tests and vaccination in Guangzhou, in China's Guangdong province, on May 25, 2021. The city is making headlines again as the epicenter of China's latest COVID-19 outbreak.(The Epoch Times)
11/9/2022
Updated:
11/10/2022

Authorities in China's southern city of Guangzhou announced over 2,000 new COVID-19 infections on Nov. 8. Strict COVID measures have been implemented in the city of 19 million, a major manufacturing center. As the city tries to avoid a blanket lockdown like the one in Shanghai earlier this year, over 30,000 Guangzhou residents have been transferred to isolation facilities outside the city.

Guangzhou, the "factory floor of the world," is at the center of China's most recent COVID-19 outbreak. On Nov. 8, Chinese health authorities reported 8,335 new infections in the country of 1.4 billion. That number includes 6,989 asymptomatic cases and 1,346 confirmed cases, according to a daily briefing from China's National Health Commission. Guangzhou was responsible for nearly a third of the new infections at 2,637 new cases.
Many of Guangzhou's districts imposed restrictions and lockdowns. Residents in five districts, representing more than half of its population, were required to undergo mass testing, according to a Reuters report. A lockdown in Haizhu, the district that has seen the most cases, was extended until Nov. 11.
Guangzhou's Canton Fair Complex, one of the world's largest convention centers, was opened as an isolation facility for asymptomatic patients on Nov. 4, reported Chinese news website Caixin.
Meanwhile, Chinese state-run media The Paper reported on Nov. 7 that 34,000 people had been transferred to isolation facilities in other cities so far.

'People Jumping From Buildings Everywhere'

As offices and schools closed and traffic was semi-paralyzed by bus and metro shutdowns, residents expressed frustration.

"Everywhere is closed off for isolation,” Xue Qiang (a pseudonym), a resident of Guangzhou's Baiyun district, told The Epoch Times. “[If] there’s one positive case in a residential community, everyone will be required to take a nucleic acid test. There are [posts] from WeChat groups that there is no food or medicine in the isolation sites; people were dragged everywhere, some to psychiatric hospitals, and some were even locked in public toilets. Guangzhou is in chaos.

“When people look at what happened during the Cultural Revolution, they think it's absurd. When people look [back] at what's happening now, they will also think it's absurd.”

"The pandemic itself is not serious, but there are too many secondary disasters caused by the ‘zero-COVID’ [policy],” Xue continued. “There are people jumping from buildings everywhere. Some are dying due to the lack of treatment for basic diseases."

 Workers erect fencing around a neighborhood in lockdown in Shanghai's Changning district, after new COVID-19 cases were reported on Oct. 7, 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)
Workers erect fencing around a neighborhood in lockdown in Shanghai's Changning district, after new COVID-19 cases were reported on Oct. 7, 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

Sky-High Profits for Test Manufacturers

The COVID test industry is filled with corruption, Xue said. “Only those who produce nucleic acid [testing kits] remain. The departments that conduct [nucleic acid] testing collude with higher-up interest groups, making a lot of money."
Reuters reported Nov. 3 that several of China's medical testing companies posted sky-high profits in the first three quarters of this year.
However, Xue feels that the overall economy is collapsing and that the results will be disastrous. “Without taxation, the people's communes and canteens will not last long. The Chinese Communist Party is a dictatorship and not subject to any constraints. I don't think we'll be in this state for long before something happens."

'Tens of Thousands of People Have Been Pulled Away'

“Right after the lift of the lockdown [the city] is under lockdown again,” An Hua (a pseudonym), a restaurant owner in Haizhu, told The Epoch Times. “Now all restaurants are closed, and you can’t order takeaway either.”

“Many industries have come to a standstill. Small and medium-sized business owners are anxious in particular, but they can do nothing. The authorities say that this outbreak is the most serious in three years, and no one is allowed to go out. I don't want to go out anyway if nothing happens, because my health code may turn yellow if I pass somewhere, and that will be a huge problem.”

 Both Hong Kong and mainland China use a color-coded app to enforce COVID-19 restrictions. (Screenshot)
Both Hong Kong and mainland China use a color-coded app to enforce COVID-19 restrictions. (Screenshot)

"Many people have been pulled out of here and quarantined. The village in the city is empty! Tens of thousands of people have been pulled away. Hundreds of buses are lined up on the roadside. It's raining today [Nov. 4], and the people are waiting in the rain for the transfer,” An continued.

“Nuclear acid testing [is being done] every day. The people have no money and are eating instant noodles at home. People are full of uncertainty and worries about their lives, not as hopeful about the future as before."

Kane Zhang is a reporter based in Japan. She has written on health topics for The Epoch Times since 2022, mainly focusing on Integrative Medicine. She also reports on current affairs related Japan and China.