After eight confirmed cases were reported in the PepsiCo plant in Beijing, four more cases were confirmed on June 22. Hundreds of PepsiCo workers, close contacts, and neighbors of the workers have been isolated.
PepsiCo in China explained that when an employee in the plant, which mainly produces Lay’s potato chips, was confirmed to be infected on June 15, PepsiCo immediately suspended production. All employees were quarantined at home that day and received nucleic acid tests the next day. On June 20, a total of 480 people from the company were transferred to centralized quarantine sites. As of June 20, at 6 p.m., 87 close contacts were found and quarantined. Close contacts included delivery personnel, neighbors, and medical staff.
Zhao Xna (alias), in his 30s, is an employee of PepsiCo and a confirmed case. Mr. Wang is a Jingdong courier who once made a delivery to Zhao. Although Wang didn’t see Zhao when he made the delivery, he was also forced to self-quarantine.
“I’m in isolation at the Hanting Hotel now. I didn’t have any contact with Zhao. I left the delivery at a drop box on June 14. The entire village over there was locked down. The delivery could only be made to a drop box. I don’t know why I was put in isolation.” Wang said that he was notified at noon on June 19, isolated that night, and it was totally unexpected.
He explained that he had never seen Zhao and didn’t know if Zhao was a man or a woman, which made him feel particularly bad about being implicated.
“I told the CDC [Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention] that I had no contact with the person that day. They said (I) had contact with the drop box, Zhao also had contact with the drop box. It is easy to get infected.”
Another courier, Mr. He, had a similar experience. Mr. He was called by the CDC at 8:57 a.m. on June 19, saying that he had made a delivery to a specified address. He didn’t have time to check the recipient’s name, and didn’t remember if he left the delivery at a drop box or with a person. Regardless, he was sent to the isolation hotel that night.
Before going to the hotel, his van and delivery items were disinfected. His co-workers kept a distance from him. “Whether you are confirmed, suspected, or a close contact, you feel instantly rejected by others, including your coworkers and friends. That’s what I felt at the time,” said He.
Mr. He was sent to the isolation hotel directly from the company. On the first night, he stayed in a small company room with a security guard until early morning. Then, the leader made He ride a motorbike for a long distance, while he followed in a vehicle. When they reached a crossroad there was a bus waiting there that contained at least 10 people. All were taken to the isolation site together.
Mr. He told The Epoch Times that he had to stay in his room, “It hurts all over the body. I am uncomfortable and I had diarrhea last night. Maybe it’s because of the air conditioning. The air is terrible in the room if the air conditioner is not running.” The window only opens 10 cm (four inches).
Mr. He said he was alone in the hotel, and his wife and almost 18-month-old boy were isolated in the company building.
He asked if he had to pay for the cost of the quarantine hotel, but his leader told him not to think about it right then. He still doesn’t know how the fees will be handled.
Neighbor’s Entire Family Isolated
Mr. Li, 55, is Zhao’s neighbor. He was taken to the Vienna Hotel in Daxing District at around midnight on June 19 for centralized isolation.
Li lives in the same compound as Zhao. They see each other almost daily. After Zhao’s case was confirmed, all three of his family members were sent to the hotel for isolation. His wife and child were next door but they could only communicate via WeChat.
He said, “After we left, our entire compound was sealed and disinfected. The whole village was tested for nucleic acids. Nearby residents were isolated at home.”
Mr. Li runs a diner. Since the outbreak started in Wuhan, his business has been closed. It just reopened at the beginning of May. Now he also wonders about the quarantine fees.
Wang Xhong (alias) is another confirmed case from PepsiCo in Beijing.
An insider told The Epoch Times that Wang should have been diagnosed in Daxing Hospital on June 16 or 17. But she had already visited Beijing Renhe Hospital on June 10. On the afternoon of June 17, the Health Bureau notified the doctors in Renhe Hospital they needed to be quarantined.
The insider also said that Wang could have contracted the virus by either visiting Xinfadi food market or through contact with people who went there. Xinfadi is where the authorities attribute the source of the latest outbreak in Beijing.
Although Wang and Lily (alias) don’t work on the same production line, and Lily has never heard of Wang, she was also sent to a hotel in Chaoyang District on June 18 for isolation.
“Employees are isolated, one person to a room, and restricted from going out.” She explained that she underwent so-called preventive medicine for six days, and doesn’t know when quarantine ends. “No one tells me anything. The company did not say anything about the isolation costs or charges for the test, but they said our salaries will be delayed till next month. I don’t know what the situation is now,” she said.
The people affected in this new outbreak in Beijing were in various businesses, such as farmers’ markets, restaurants, canteens, takeaways, express delivery services, logistics, and hospitals. Local authorities arranged for courier personnel to have nucleic acid testing starting on June 19, which included a total of 103,000 first-line employees in 17 postal and express delivery companies in Beijing.
So far, the regime still refuses to impose a lockdown policy on the state capital. Thirty-eight districts in Beijing are listed as medium-risk, and five were raised to high-risk—the most severe level of infection.