The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is fighting a nationwide COVID-19 outbreak and has shut down at least 10 regions as of Monday—coming about two weeks after a New Year’s Eve party in Wuhan, which some experts pointed out was merely a propaganda exercise to promote the CCP as other countries grapple with the virus.
The CCP-backed Global Times newspaper proclaimed that the party in Wuhan was a sign of things to come and the West “should get used to it.” The regime effectively stopped reporting its true CCP virus figures early last year after the virus emerged in Wuhan in 2019, becoming a global pandemic. Human rights experts have said the CCP’s disregard for human life and cover-up campaign exacerbated the spread of the virus worldwide.
But the same state-run paper on Jan. 18 said that now 11 Chinese regions are under “de facto lockdown” amid virus infections. The paper attempted to quibble over the definition of “lockdown” but stipulated that residents in those areas cannot leave and their freedom of movement is restricted.
“Northeast China’s Heilongjiang sealed off at least five regions – Zhaodong, Qinggang, Suihua city’s downtown area, Angangxi district in Qiqihar, and Hulan district in Harbin. Local residents are required to stay in their homes and vehicles are prohibited on roads. Exit and entry roads are also closed off,” the paper said.
In the meantime, the CCP appears to be deploying a propaganda campaign to blame the current virus outbreak on foreign sources. Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the foreign affairs ministry, repeated the claim that the United States created the virus in a laboratory while social media website Weibo allowed a trend repeating Hua’s claim to stay up.
State-run media has also tried to blame the spread of the virus in China on ice cream with raw materials sourced in New Zealand and Ukraine. A local disease control center found that ice cream stored by Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Co. tested positive for the virus, state media reported over the past weekend.
Officials’ claims about the virus being found in frozen food may be a tactic to blame other countries for the spread of the virus. In November, regime authorities said that allegedly COVID-contaminated food was imported from other countries.
But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there is “no evidence” that frozen food can transmit the CCP virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) added last year that it’s not necessary to disinfect food packaging.
Meanwhile, CCP authorities relocated about 20,000 people in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei Province, to other areas for quarantine several days ago. The outbreak, according to officials, also spread to Qiqihar—one of the largest cities in northern China in Heilongjiang Province.
The new wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Shijiazhuang was concentrated in the Zengcun township of Gaocheng district and has spread to other parts of China.
The Epoch Times learned on Jan. 11 that after many residents in Zengcun were sent to quarantine sites, nearly 20,000 people who had remained were urgently notified by local authorities to be transferred to quarantine centers in remote areas.
Chinese officials in Heilongjiang Province on Jan. 14 told all 38 million residents to self-quarantine at home, although they didn’t say for how long.
Alex Wu contributed to this report.