4-Month-Old Baby Dies in Chinese City Under Draconian Zero-COVID Policies

4-Month-Old Baby Dies in Chinese City Under Draconian Zero-COVID Policies
Residents queue to receive COVID-19 coronavirus tests as part of a mass testing programme in Zhengzhou, in China's central Henan province on Jan. 5, 2022. (STR/CNS/AFP via Getty Images)
Sophia Lam

The Chinese regime’s stringent zero-COVID policies delayed medical treatment and caused a baby’s death in central China’s Zhengzhou city, Henan Province on Nov. 15, according to the father.

The death of Li Siyu, a 4-month-old baby girl in Zhengzhou, triggered public outcry in China. Her father’s post on a Chinese social media platform Baidu titled “For my 4-month-old child, demanding justice!” is still on the platform and had 9.6 million pageviews as of Nov. 19 when viewed by The Epoch Times.

The post, though still available on the Chinese search engine Baidu, stopped updating on Nov. 17, as the latest four comments are dated Nov. 17.

Li Baoliang, Siyu’s father, said in his post on Nov. 16 that his baby girl’s death was caused by three delays:
  • 120 staffers refused to treat the baby or arrange for transfer to hospitals;
  • Instead of being treated in a nearby hotel, they were sent to a hospital over 60 miles away from Zhengzhou, and the transfer vehicle went to pick up another patient before going to the hospital;
  • The hospital didn’t treat in a timely manner.
120 is China’s medical emergency call center.
Li calls on relevant departments to investigate the incident and demands justice for his baby girl.

Mother Isolated in a Makeshift Quarantine Hospital, Separated From the Baby

Li said in an interview with the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times on Nov. 16 that his wife tested positive for COVID on Nov. 11.

She didn’t have any symptoms, but she was taken to a makeshift quarantine hospital. Li and their baby were regarded as close contacts and were under home quarantine, according to Li.

On the night of Nov. 12, Li and Siyu were forced into a quarantine hotel. “The authorities said we must be quarantined in a hotel,” Li told The Epoch Times.

The ordeal began for Li on Nov. 14.

Emergency Services Delayed Medical Treatment

Li told The Epoch Times that it took him more than eight hours to get Siyu to a hospital.

Li said that Siyu started vomiting and having diarrhea at 3 a.m. on Nov. 14 and suffered from it again at around 8 a.m. He tried to feed the baby some milk and water, but the baby wouldn’t drink. Fearing that she might dehydrate, Li called 120, China’s emergency services number.

Undated photo of Li Siyu, who died on Nov. 15 in Dengfeng city, China's central Henan Province, due to delays in medical treatment. (Supplied by Li Baoliang, father of Siyu)
Undated photo of Li Siyu, who died on Nov. 15 in Dengfeng city, China's central Henan Province, due to delays in medical treatment. (Supplied by Li Baoliang, father of Siyu)

Under stringent lockdowns in China, people are banned from leaving their homes, and calling the emergency number is the first option for Chinese people to get medical help if they fall ill.

“The emergency services staffer replied that I am not entitled to call the number directly and that the quarantine hotel’s epidemic prevention personnel should make the call,” Li said.

However, there was no rule regarding who is allowed to make such a call, as Li learned from the hotel. So he called the emergency number again.

Li’s first call was made at 11:57, and he called 120 again at 12:01.

This time the emergency services sent an ambulance to the hotel, which arrived at 12:34. However, the medical staffers didn’t go to see Li’s daughter. Instead, they sent the hotel’s epidemic prevention staffers to do an antigen test for Li and Siyu. Li tested positive, and the baby tested negative.

The emergency medical staffers declined to take the baby to any hospital on the ground that the baby was negative for COVID and was “not a severe case.” The hotel staffers tried for half an hour to persuade 120 staffers to take Li and Siyu to a hospital, but they were in vain. The ambulance left without even looking at Siyu.

The hotel’s epidemic prevention staffers managed to report Li’s case to their seniors. The second ambulance arrived at the hotel at 20:35.

“The ambulance didn’t take us directly to a hospital. Instead, they drove to pick up another patient and drove us out of Zhengzhou to Dengfeng, and we didn’t arrive at Dengfeng until after 23:00,” Li said.

Dengfeng is a city 60 miles southeast of Zhengzhou.

Hospital Delayed Treatment

After arriving at the hospital, Li said that he immediately told the doctors about Siyu’s condition, telling them that the baby didn’t drink anything for the whole day.

The night-shift doctor only gave him a thermometer, telling him to wait for the day-shift doctor to take a blood test for Siyu, and then left.

At 00:29, Li found that Siyu’s hands and feet were cold and that she was suffocating. The doctor rescued Siyu for more than three hours in the ward and then announced her death.

“This is a bolt out of the blue, and I just can’t take it [death of Siyu],” Li said.

He told The Epoch Times that the doctor only told him orally that Siyu died due to a viral infection. He hadn’t received any written certificate on Siyu’s death.

Li’s wife was taken to the hospital from her makeshift quarantine facility. Now the sad parents are isolated in the hospital in Dengfeng, with their deceased 4-month-old baby in the hospital’s mortuary.

“I have called all the numbers I can call—the police, the local disciplinary committee, anywhere I can appeal for justice—but no one has returned our calls,” Li said.

But Li received a call from the local police, who asked Li to delete his posts.

“I must seek justice for my girl,” the sad father told The Epoch Times.

Public Outcry

Siyu’s death has triggered much outcry among Chinese netizens, many of whom have been reposting Li’s post, trying to make the topic trendy to get the attention of the authorities. They blamed the authorities and medical personnel for the baby’s death.

“I feel sad for the innocent baby who passed away. There was a chance to treat her, but they only insisted on these so-called epidemic prevention procedures. The indifference, selfishness, and fear of the responsibility of the epidemic prevention personnel terminate a young life. As a new mother, if my child encounters such a thing, I will go crazy. I support the baby’s parents. The case must be seriously investigated,” a netizen replies under Li’s post.

“The government urges everyone to have a baby, but this little baby can’t get effective treatment because of the isolation. The local government is so indifferent to even the people’s life and health, so why to urge people to have a baby???” another netizen writes.

“COVID-19 doesn’t kill now, but inhumanity kills,” another netizen writes.

“If you and I are bystanders today, tomorrow we will be the victims! Let’s repost it!” a netizen writes.

Li’s post had 48,050 comments, even after being supressed.

Deaths caused by the Chinese communist regime’s draconian zero-COVID policies have been reported in multiple places in China, including cities in Xinjiang, Shanghai, and Gansu Province.

The Zhengzhou municipal disciplinary commission and the municipal health commission are jointly probing into the death of Siyu, according to a report from Sina, a Chinese news website.

The Epoch Times’ calls to the 120 emergency services and the hospital in Dengfeng were not answered. The Epoch Times reached out to the provincial health commission of Henan and hasn’t received a reply as of press time.

Zhao Fenghua and Gu Xiaohua contributed to this report.