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Is China forcefully confining COVID-19 patients in camped metal boxes?

Even as the world grapples with drastically increasing COVID-19 cases owing to the Omicron variant, China has reportedly enforced draconian policies to curb the virus from spreading.

Is China forcefully confining COVID-19 patients in camped metal boxes?
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China, First Published Jan 12, 2022, 4:31 PM IST
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Even as the world grapples with drastically increasing COVID-19 cases owing to the Omicron variant, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, China has reportedly enforced draconian policies to curb the virus from spreading. If reports are to be believed, China is forcefully confining people suspected of having COVID-19 to cramped metal boxes. 

Unverified videos posted on social media platforms show the situation in China, where COVID-19 suspected and/or positive people have been quarantined in metal boxes, including pregnant women, children and the elderly. Asianet Newsable does not vouch for the authenticity of the clips.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, a total of 20 million people are confined to their homes in China's Anyang, Yuzhou and Xi'an. Reports added that those under quarantine in these cities had been banned from leaving their homes to even buy food.

Lockdown was imposed on Monday in Anyang, which is home to 5.5 million people after two cases of the new Omicron variant was reported. In the meantime, residents of some Chinese cities spoke to BBC about the ordeal they faced during the lockdown, adding that they were part of a 'big transfer' to quarantine camps.

Footage widely shared online, reportedly from Xi'an camps, show people in the tiny boxes furnished with a wooden bed and a toilet, where they are forced to live in quarantine for as long as two weeks. The videos also show workers in hazmat suits providing food to the people living in these cells. Some have reportedly complained that they have been left with very little food in the freezing metal cells.

According to news agency Xinhua, Xi'an reported 13 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking the total up to 2,017 cases. Reports say, of this, 417 had recovered by Monday. Lyu Yongpeng, deputy director of Xi'an's health commission, confirmed that a new round of mass testing in key areas was undertaken on Tuesday to further curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

When the pandemic broke out, China largely controlled the rising number of cases through a mix of lockdowns, border closures and mass testing. However, a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases just weeks before the Beijing Winter Olympics has raised serious concerns for the Communist party. As of January 11, China has reported 104,189 confirmed symptomatic cases, including both locally transmitted and from those arriving from overseas.

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