Chinese Citizens Find More COVID-19 Cases Than Officially Reported as Doctor Suspects New Variant Emerging

January 4, 2021 Updated: January 4, 2021

The Chinese cities of Beijing and Dalian announced more restrictions as authorities struggle to contain a burgeoning CCP virus outbreak.

Beijing banned all passenger vehicles from going to regions that were designated “medium” and “high” risk for virus spread.

Taxis and ridesharing cars are also not allowed to leave Beijing beginning on Jan. 4.

Dalian residents posted videos online showing local officials forcibly preventing residents from leaving their homes.

Meanwhile, a netizen in Shijiazhuang city of northern China’s Hebei Province leaked an internal report from the city government onto social media, which showed that authorities covered up the number of diagnosed patients.

Also, a doctor in northern Shenyang said he suspected a new virus variant that is more contagious is spreading across the city.

Epoch Times Photo
People wait to board shuttle buses to a COVID-19 vaccine center in Beijing, China on Jan. 4, 2021. (GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

Lockdowns

A resident of Jinzhou district in Dalian told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that her entire district was locked down and no one is allowed to leave their homes. Only medical staff and epidemic prevention staff can freely move about.

The city government ruled on Monday that any resident in a controlled zone who is discovered to have left their home would be immediately sent to a quarantine center. The person must stay for 21 days, all expenses to be paid out-of-pocket.

At the same time, all other people who live in the same building as that individual would be required to stay at home for 21 days and take at least four nucleic acid tests for COVID-19.

Dalian netizens shot videos showing the current living situation in Jinzhou district.

One video was shot at the Shenglixi Residential Compound on Jan. 3, showing five workers dressed in protective suits who were sealing off the entrances of buildings by welding a steel board onto the doors.

Another video was shot at the Ziran Tiancheng C1 residential compound on the evening of Jan. 3, showing busloads of people who had to move to quarantine centers because one resident was diagnosed with COVID-19 that day. More than ten buses arrived to transport them, according to residents.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman is tested for COVID-19 in Shenyang, China on Jan. 1, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Underreported Outbreak

On Monday, China’s National Health Commission only reported one case from Shijiazhuang city.

A netizen from Shijiazhuang posted on Weibo—a Twitter-like social media platform—a document from the city government, which listed six COVID-19 patients with their names, ID numbers, and basic information.

The first patient on the list is the only one that authorities announced: a patient who visited the Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University on Jan. 2 and was then diagnosed.

The other five patients are: a baker from Zhengding county who was diagnosed during a routine nucleic acid test; a patient who visited Xinle City Hospital; a patient who visited Xinle Chinese Medicine Hospital; and two people who received nucleic acid tests at No. 3 Hospital in Shijiazhuang, according to the document.

The Epoch Times could not independently verify the authenticity of the document.

It should be noted that Shijiazhuang city announced that it entered “wartime” status on Sunday afternoon—the first cases authorities confirmed since about half a year ago.

Epoch Times Photo
People are lining up for the COVID-19 test in Shenyang, China on Jan. 2, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

New Variant?

The Shenyang government announced on Monday that 16 regions in the city were designated as medium-risk regions. Though officials said on Dec. 28 that the latest wave outbreak was under control, more and more residents have become infected.

Netizen from Shenyang shared a video with The Epoch Times, in which a man talked about the local outbreak on Jan. 2. The netizen said the man is a doctor from a large-scale hospital, the Shenyang Emergency Center.

In the video, the doctor said the outbreak in Shenyang was very serious and the virus was spreading very quickly.

“I need to go out [to pick up patients] four or five times every day,” the doctor said, with many likely to test positive.

He observed that the virus was very contagious, with one patient capable of spreading the virus to many others who are just walking by or staying in the same room.

As an example, the doctor said he picked up a patient on Dec. 31, 2020. The patient did not know any of the previously diagnosed patients, nor did he talk with or face toward them. After he visited the No. 8 Hospital around the same time as a previously diagnosed patient, he became infected.

The doctor then concluded: “I suspected the virus [in Shenyang] is a new variant.”

Epoch Times Photo
The Huarun Oak Bay housing community in Shenyang city, China, is locked down due to a local surge of COVID-19 cases, on Dec. 23, 2020. (Provided to The Epoch Times by interviewee)

The Epoch Times could not independently verify the doctor’s comments.

But state-run media Health Times reported on Jan. 2 about a patient who spread the virus to 18 people within a short period of time.

The superspreader was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 23. The patient visited two hospitals and one clinic before she was diagnosed. After the superspreader was diagnosed, many of her doctors, nurses, family members, and neighbors were diagnosed with COVID-19.