China’s Lockdown of Millions Leaves Locals Being Denied Care, Basic Needs

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On a road damp with rain, in front of a neighborhood officials’ office in the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai, a kneeling woman’s heart-wrenching pleas for her dying husband tore through the frigid air.

“I beg you to please do some good deed,” the woman beseeched while crying. “I beg you to save my husband.”

Wearing a khaki jacket and black pants, she was in a kowtow position on the ground, heedless of the cold and wet. She repeatedly bent her head so low that it nearly touched the cement.

The woman’s husband was suffering from late-stage cancer. But no ambulance could be made available to ferry him to the hospital, nor would any medical facilities take him—for the sole reason that the couple lived in a residential compound that had been sealed off under the Chinese regime’s “zero tolerance” virus policy.

Three months after a Chinese city became the center of an online storm for its draconian lockdowns that delayed much needed medical care for the sick and caused several pregnant women to lose their unborn children, similar scenes of helplessness are emerging on the Chinese internet as the country faces its purported worst COVID wave since its first emergence two years ago.

China is now reporting thousands of cases daily, an explosive growth compared to the clusters of infections in the double-digits it had recorded throughout 2021. But even this is likely to be an understatement, according to some experts and locals, given the communist regime’s practice of suppressing information that undermines its image. Infections are now recorded in every province, prompting a chain of responses from the Party bureaucracy as part of its “dynamic COVID-zero” policy: sacking local officials, mass testing, locking down cities, and quarantining anyone deemed a close COVID contact.

One factor that has consistently been overlooked in this playbook has been the human toll.

By Eva Fu

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