Quarantine Bus Crash- The coach overturned on a freeway in the southwestern province of Guizhou. Another 20 people were hurt. Only two people have perished from Covid in Guizhou province since the outbreak erupted over three years ago.
A bus carrying infected people to a Covid-19 quarantine facility in China has crashed, killing 27 of those on board.
After a bus carrying locals to a viral quarantine center crashed, killing 27, anger and condemnation over China’s unyielding zero-Covid policy have erupted. Authorities claim that at around 2:40 a.m. on a steep section of the route, the bus that was transporting 47 people from Guiyang, the provincial capital of Guizhou, to a distant county 155 miles (249 kilometers) away, flipped and plummeted into a ravine. Why a quarantine bus would drive people over treacherous mountain roads after midnight is a mystery.
According to Chinese transportation law, long-distance coaches are not allowed to run between 2 and 5 in the morning. In a widely shared social media image, the bus driver is seen operating the vehicle at night while donning full hazmat gear that only leaves his eyes exposed. In other images and videos, the bus is shown being pulled by a truck, having it’s top broken off, and having a hazmat worker spray disinfectant on it. The bus license plate in the photograph matches the plate number that officials have reported, despite the fact that CNN is unable to independently authenticate the images and recordings.
The fatalities triggered a significant uproar on Chinese social media, with many criticizing the zero-Covid policy’s increasingly draconian implementation, which depends on emergency lockdowns, widespread testing, and extensive quarantining procedures to contain epidemics.
There has recently been outrage about harsh and prolonged lockdowns in a number of places, including Guiyang, Chengdu, Jinan, and the regions of Xinjiang and Tibet.
Outrage over strict and protracted lockdowns has recently been heard in a number of cities, including Guiyang, Chengdu, Jinan, and the areas of Xinjiang and Tibet. A popular comment that received more than 250,000 likes before being deleted asked, “What makes you think that you won’t be on that late-night bus one day? “On the bus with us all. Just yet, we haven’t crashed “Added another comment. According to authorities, crash survivors are currently receiving medical care in hospitals.
The uproar was quickly covered by Chinese censors. The comment area of several state media articles regarding the accident has been disabled, and search results seem to have been blocked. More than 450 million people had viewed a relevant hashtag as of Sunday night, but only posts from official government and media accounts were displayed. A citizen of Guizhou who claimed that her friend was slain on the bus demanded that the Guiyang authorities be held accountable on Weibo.
Her posts received a lot of attention and an outpouring of rage and grief. The user declined CNN’s interview requests and later hid her posts. In the run-up to the 20th Party Congress, where Chinese leader Xi Jinping is anticipated to achieve a record-breaking third term in office, Guizhou officials are under immense pressure to suppress even small-scale Covid breakouts.
Guizhou, which accounted for 70% of all new cases nationally on Saturday, reported 712 illnesses. In Guiyang, nine municipal officials have already been suspended this month for improperly implementing Covid policies.
Guiyang government representatives swore on Saturday to “fight a determined battle” to end community transmission. Local authorities frequently bus entire buildings or groups of residents outside the city to quarantine somewhere in zero-Covid China as a remedy. According to the state-run Guiyang Evening Paper, authorities in Guiyang, which was under lockdown earlier this month, arranged for 20 buses and 40 drivers to move close friends of Covid cases to other cities.
Nearly 3,000 people were waiting to be bused out as of Saturday, while more than 7,000 individuals had already been moved. Only two Covid deaths have been recorded in Guizhou, a province with a population of 38 million, since the pandemic started, according to government statistics.