Volunteers disinfect in protective suits on 24 January 2021 in a residential area in Tonghua, China.
Visual china group | Getty Images
BEIJING – A small Chinese city rush to control the coronavirus has left some residents without food, and some officials without jobs.
The result reflects the extreme lengths for which local Chinese officials will try to contain coronoviruses. While new cases in China this year are far below those of other countries, stringent prevention measures can quickly cause more disruption to work and daily life.
After a spike in Kovid-19 cases in mid-January in Tonghua city, about 10 hours’ drive north-east of Beijing, it announced Wednesday that no one could leave the city. Officials said that all apartment complexes were essentially closed.
According to Weibo’s post on China’s version of Twitter, people were glued to home and turned to smartphone-based delivery apps for a short period of time to stock up on food, but many complained online that they didn’t get their orders Can meet
State media said that on Saturday, the Discipline and Inspection Commission of the local Communist Party sacked three officials for the poor performance of the epidemic situation. The report said that eleven other officers received severe warnings.
Then on Sunday, the city of Tonghua apologized to its nearly 500,000 residents for the “untimely” delivery of daily necessities and general inconveniences. There was a huge shortage of workers in the city, but there was enough food.
More than 11,000 people left mostly angry comments on a national state media post about the amnesty on Weibo. Some users reported how they or neighbors were starving and their orders were not received for three or four days.
Several user comments noted an inability to place an order on Eleme, a food delivery app supported by Alibaba. The company did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.
Nasdaq-listed Dada, a grocery delivery company that saw an increase last year during an initial coronavirus virus outbreak, neither of its two apps operate in the city of Tonghua.
Kovid-19 first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. Chinese authorities closed more than half the country in February 2020, and the outbreak stalled domestically within several weeks. Meanwhile, the virus intensified its spread abroad in a global epidemic.
In the past two months, there have been new domestic-transmitted cases in China amid the cold weather and the constant movement of tourists from abroad. The northeastern province of Jilin, where the city of Tonghua is located, has become the third hardest hit area, with 273 new confirmed coronovirus cases reported for January alone.