COVID-19 cases have ballooned in Shenyang, the capital of northeastern China’s Liaoning Province, as authorities struggle to contain the outbreak. Residents told The Epoch Times that infections are being underreported by the local government.
On Dec. 30, authorities confirmed that at least three medical staff in Shenyang tested positive. One was a nurse from Pukang Hospital (diagnosed on Dec. 26), and the other two were a nurse and a physician assistant, both from Xiushui Clinic (diagnosed on Dec. 28).
A notice issued by the Shenyang Municipal Health Commission said the three infected staffers are all associated with a new patient surnamed Yin, diagnosed on Dec. 23. Currently, the four hospitals Yin visited are all under lockdown, including Xiushui Clinic, Shenyang Pukang Hospital, the north district of Second Affiliated Hospital of Shenyang Medical College, and Shenyang No. 4 People’s Hospital.
Of them, the first two are private hospitals while the last two are state-operated.
Five Residential Compounds under Lockdown
As of the time of writing, five residential communities have been officially designated as medium-risk regions in the city. They are all under lockdown, including Hongda Community; Huarun Oak Bay (Phase II); Jiye Baihuayuan Community; Huagong Community; and Zhonghai Cheng Constellation Community.
On Dec. 29, a tire repair shop owner near Hongda Community confirmed in an interview with The Epoch Times that “residents are told to wear masks and not to move freely.”
He said that all nearby shop owners had taken two nucleic acid tests within the week, as required by the community authorities, and that it was uncertain when the lockdown would be lifted.
Another community, Yihai Sunshine (phase I) where the Xiushui Clinic nurse lived, is also under lockdown. A supermarket worker near the area confirmed that the lockdown began as early as Dec. 27, in an interview with The Epoch Times.
“The residents are forbidden to come out. Crowds of police wearing personal protective equipment are already being deployed at checkpoints. No access, no delivery is allowed in the area,” said the worker.
Shenyang Enters Wartime Mode
On Dec. 30, Shenyang officials declared a “wartime state” during a press conference. All communities where confirmed cases were detected must be subject to lockdown, with 17,205 residents involved.
According to authorities, 12,001 people were identified as close contacts of diagnosed patients.
All New Year large celebrations, parties, dinners as well as training activities have been canceled. Large-scale conferences are also being restricted in terms of number of attendees, frequency, and timing.
Resident: Virus Updates Lack Transparency
A resident of Shenhe district in Shenyang told The Epoch Times: “Now you must scan your health code before you enter a supermarket or community. Such restrictions were put aside long ago—until recently.” The health code, generated via a mobile app, shows a person’s health data and whether they are at risk of contracting the CCP virus.
A resident who declined to be named told The Epoch Times that the local outbreak is so severe that no outside access to Shenyang was allowed.
“This epidemic seems endless. Really scary,” he said.
“If epidemic updates [from the government] were transparent, there wouldn’t be so many deaths, ” the interviewee complained.
“The key point is that the officially reported figures are not true. Citizen reporters like Zhang Zhan reveal first-hand accounts, which, however, are concealed from the public. The rights of the people are all deprived,” he said.
Citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, who arrived in Wuhan earlier this year to report on the ground of China’s epidemic ground zero, was sentenced to four years imprisonment this week, on the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”
The interviewee also said that one of his friends in Dalian, another city in the province, said his workplace, the Dalian University of Technology, as well as his residential community, are under lockdown.
Compared with Shenyang, Dalian faces more grave challenges.
As of Dec. 30, the Dalian government added four neighborhoods to its list of medium-risk regions, pushing the total to 16.