The outbreaks in major cities of northern China such as Beijing, Dalian, and Shenyang remained severe, as residents were running out of food and other resources amid stringent lockdown measures.
Meanwhile, northern Hebei Province witnessed another surge in COVID-19 cases and struggled to contain the outbreak.
OutbreaksOn Jan. 5, China’s National Health Commission announced newly diagnosed cases from Hebei, Liaoning Province, and Beijing. However, the number the commission announced was less than what the provincial governments issued. For example, Liaoning reported three diagnosed patients, while the commission announced two, calling into question the data’s veracity.
During this pandemic, the central government has sent specialists to areas where the outbreak is out of control, suggesting that the Hebei outbreak was more severe than authorities reported.
The Shijiazhuang government didn’t mention how long this lockdown will last, nor details about how to supply residents with enough food.
LockdownsThe atmosphere remained tense in Shenyang city. On Jan. 4, a Shenyang resident shared a video with The Epoch Times, in which several military vehicles appeared on the streets. Some have “People's Liberation Army CDC” painted on them, meaning they are military trucks for epidemic control.
Back in February 2020, military vehicles entered the city of Wuhan when the virus outbreak was at its peak and hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
Local officials erected fences around residential compounds to prevent people from breaking lockdown rules.
Shenyang residents are still allowed to move about their residential compounds. But in Dalian, people can only stay within their apartment.
His friends also informed him that they knew of people diagnosed with COVID-19 that authorities did not announce. Xu added that on WeChat, a popular social media platform, he and his friends were unable to post any content related to the outbreak.
Xu saw WeChat posts about people in Dalian and Shenyang not having enough food supplies to last through the lockdown.
“The worst scenario is if one family member contracts the virus, then the whole family will die of COVID-19 because all families are locked inside their homes,” Xu added.
In Beijing, some became stranded after authorities issued lockdowns.
A waitress who works at the Xinxi restaurant in Shunyi district told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that they were trapped inside their workplace for several days and not allowed to go home.
“Officials didn’t allow us to leave because the area is designated as a medium risk region to contract the virus,” the waitress said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
A resident of Xidulan village, also in Shunyi district, said some villagers became stranded at a construction site after the area was locked down. “All construction was banned, but these villagers aren’t allowed to come back. They are stranded out in the field,” said Zhou Hui (pseudonym) in a phone interview.