Overseas Chinese Reveal Poor Hygiene in Quarantine Hotels

Overseas Chinese Reveal Poor Hygiene in Quarantine Hotels
Namiko (pseudonym) takes a photo of her quarantine hotel in Hai’an City, Jiangsu, on Nov. 21, 2021. (Courtesy of Namiko)

Two overseas Chinese housed in poor hygiene hotels, in China, are frustrated living in substandard conditions as local officials shirk responsibility.

Using pseudonyms to protect their identities, Masako and Namiko, from Japan, planned to visit relatives in China but were quickly transported to quarantine hotels from the airport.

Moldy Hotel Rooms

Masako left Japan with her three-year-old daughter, on Nov. 17, intending to visit her mother in Hunan, south central China.

When their plane landed in Guangzhou, they and several others were transported to a hotel more than two hours away, where several officials and police waited.

Her room on the fifth floor smelled moldy, so Masako insisted on changing rooms.

“The entire wall was moldy and the balcony was blocked, so you couldn’t see outside.”

After several hours, she got another room. She said, “I nearly broke down. We got off the plane at one o‘clock in the afternoon. It’s already 7 o’clock in the evening, but we still did not have a room.”

The hotel finally agreed to switch her to the 7th floor, where the room was a little better, but the balcony was still blocked. “We were too tired, so we just took it,” she said.

Unbearable Meals

Masako also complained about the hotel catering.

She said, “The meal box was really disgusting. There were only a few pieces of pickled beans, two big pieces of fatty meat, and murky looking soup, with one or two pieces of lettuce. It cost us $4.71 per person.”

There were cockroaches crawling around at night. “The room was not cleaned, but it’s $53.36 a day, in addition to the $10.99 meal plan,” she said.

The hotel is 40 minutes from downtown—too far for food delivery. She said, “My kid had nothing to eat, and even suffered from diarrhea. I was really worried.”

Since Nov. 18, Masako has been crying for help, to no avail.

Already suffering with uterine fibroids and depression, Masako’s health worsened. She sought help online, but the epidemic prevention staff demanded she delete the posts.

A week later, a psychiatrist and a gynecologist contacted Masako. The psychiatrist diagnosed her as moderately depressed.

Masako’s depression diagnosis record, on Nov. 28, 2021. (Courtesy of Masako)
Masako’s depression diagnosis record, on Nov. 28, 2021. (Courtesy of Masako)

The authorities finally relocated her to another hotel, on Nov. 24, but Masako had already started to develop insomnia, for the first time.

Authorities rejected her request to quarantine at her mother’s home, saying that even a late stage lung cancer patient wouldn’t be allowed.

Masako said, “There’s no humanistic care. The epidemic prevention in China is simply killing people in order to save the face of the authorities.”

The Second Hotel

After the 14-day quarantine in Guangzhou, Masako went to Hunan, on Dec. 1, but she and her daughter were placed in another hotel.

She said, “My home was right there, but I couldn’t go home.” Although Masako applied for home isolation, it was rejected. The police made sure she stayed in the hotel.

The hometown hotel often runs out of drinking water, the room is tiny and filthy, and the heater is as noisy as thunder, but she needs it to keep the room warm.

The cost is $18.83 per day. She needs to stay there for seven days.

The Difficult Trip

Masako told the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times that her father had already passed away and her mom was living alone.

She explained to local authorities that her mom was old and badly wounded in a car accident, this April, and that there’s enough room for her to be home-quarantined.

Masako said, “My mom was crying every time I called her from Japan. I just wanted to see my mom … now I am only a few minutes away from home, and they just won’t allow it.”

When The Epoch Times called the local epidemic prevention center, a staff member said the local policy requires 14+7+7 days of quarantine. Experts decide special cases.

As for whether there’ll be some humanistic care for people who suffer from depression, the answer was: It’s up to public security to make decisions about humanistic care.

The Moldy Comforter

Namiko arrived in Shanghai, on Nov. 18. Authorities transferred her to an isolated hotel under strict quarantine.

Once in the quarantine hotel, she was shocked to find a moldy comforter and faucet, a dirty air conditioner, and a smelly bathroom.

She also said, “There were bugs in the food, and the meatball was undercooked.”

There is a bug in the meal provided by the quarantine hotel. (Courtesy of Namiko)
There is a bug in the meal provided by the quarantine hotel. (Courtesy of Namiko)

Namiko and others are required to stay in the hotel for 18 days, according to local authorities. The charge is $31.39 a day, including meals.

Several people called a hotline number seeking to switch to another hotel, but they were told there is no other hotel.

Namiko also complained online, but no one responded.

She said, “I asked in a group chat: ‘my kid is coughing with a cold, can I report it?’ No one answered.”

Finally, that night someone brought her a blanket, after she called the emergency line, “but, it’s also moldy,” she said.

Namiko was concerned about whether she would be able to move to a quarantine hotel in her hometown after this first stage of quarantine. She has called authorities in the province and the local governments trying to get answers. The response was that it’s not under their administration.

She said, “This is really frustrating.”