Eight Chinese Diagnosed With COVID-19 in Region Claimed by Authorities to Be Virus-Free

By Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.
October 19, 2021 Updated: October 19, 2021

China’s Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia, and a dozen other provinces ordered residents to self-report if they have visited cities where eight newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients have been in the past 10 days.

In Shaanxi’s Xi’an city, where seven of the eight patients were diagnosed, the city government closed tourist sites, locked down several neighborhoods, tested over 30,000 people within hours after the new diagnosis, and will test all residents in the following days.

The lockdown and testing stirred up panic and threw the region into chaos.

“All venues that they [the diagnosed patients] have visited [in Xi’an] are closed now. All of us, the residents who live near the venues, started to be tested [on Monday],” Wen Bing (pseudonym), a resident close to a restaurant the diagnosed patients had visited, told the Chinese-language Epoch Times on Oct. 18.

A store owner who doesn’t want to expose his name complained in the interview that the whole business area where his store is located was suddenly closed, but the government won’t help him to pay the rent and employees’ salaries. “It’s tourist season now, when we should be earning profit. Instead, we are suffering the losses.”

“All tourist sites are closed!” a tourist site employee of Jiayuguan city in Gansu Province said in a phone interview. “We are disinfecting everywhere.”

The eight newly diagnosed patients had visited Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, and Ningxia from Oct. 9 to Oct. 17. All these provinces claimed that they were free of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus. It’s unclear where they contracted the virus.

Panic

On Oct. 18, the Xi’an government announced the new outbreak and ordered all residents in the city to be tested as soon as possible. The city’s health commission then banned unnecessary travel outside the city, get-togethers, and outdoor group activities.

After Xi’an’s announcement, different provincial and city governments across the country ordered their residents who recently visited another city to test for the CCP virus, and asked visitors on arrival to be tested if they hadn’t been tested in the past 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Haikou city in Hainan Province announced that two of the newly diagnosed patients are residents of the city, but haven’t lived in the city since early September. In the announcement, the government clarified that the patients didn’t contract the CCP virus there.

According to the Chinese regime, seven people in their 60s went to Zhangye in Gansu Province from Shanghai, via Xi’an on Oct. 9. The eighth person joined them in Zhangye from Yinchuan city in Ningxia Province. They are classmates and friends.

From Oct. 10 to Oct. 15, the eight people rented two cars and visited tourist sites in Zhangye and Jiuquan in Gansu Province, Ejin Banner in Inner Mongolia, and Jiayuguan in Gansu, where the eighth person went back to Yinchuan directly.

The other seven were tested several times for COVID-19 during the trip due to the Chinese regime’s request on tourists who take public transportation, and tested positive in Xi’an on Oct. 17.

The Chinese regime didn’t take action when the COVID-19 outbreak first started in late 2019, since the regime wanted to make sure the party’s annual meetings could perform smoothly and the economy could boost during the new year holiday season.

After the CCP virus had spread all around the world, the regime launched a strict lockdown policy all around the country in February 2020, without giving necessary support to the people who were quarantined at different venues or locked at home.

Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.