China: Car accident transporting residents to quarantine kills 27

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A terrible car accident claimed the lives of 27 people in southwest China. The people transported were taken, according to the authorities, to a place of isolation as part of the government’s “zero Covid” policy.

Twenty-seven people died on Sunday, September 18 in southwestern China in the car accident that took them to an anti-Covid quarantine site, local authorities announced. The vehicle, which was carrying a total of 47 people, “tipped over on its side”, local police said, adding that there were also around 20 injured.

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The accident, the deadliest in China since the beginning of the year, occurred in Qiannan prefecture, a poor, isolated and mountainous region of Guizhou province, where several ethnic minorities live. The provincial government confirmed, a few hours after the announcement of the accident, that the car was transporting people “to the place where they were going to be placed in quarantine, in connection with the epidemic” of Covid.

It was not specified whether these people were sick, contact cases or simply residents of a building having experienced a case of Covid, under the very strict “zero Covid” policy led by China.

27 people lost their lives and 20 others were injured in a bus accident in southwest China’s Guizhou province. The vehicle overturned on its side on a highway. According to local media, he was heading to a Covid quarantine centre. https://t.co/1EVwy3r3qP

— Stephane Lagarde (@StephaneLagarde) September 18, 2022

The province of Guizhou has recorded more than 900 new cases in the past two days, and in early September its capital, Guiyang, had been placed in confinement.

Photos posted on social media showed the car, with its roof completely disabled, being towed by a tow truck. Another photo that quickly went viral appears to show the car moving through the night, with the driver and passengers all dressed in protective suits. AFP could not verify the authenticity of the photos.

ud83dudd34ud83cudde8ud83cuddf3#Spine: 27 people killed and 20 others injured Sunday in a bus accident on a highway in Guizhou province. The bus carrying 47 people “tipped over on its side”. It is the deadliest road accident in the country since the beginning of the year. pic.twitter.com/Uxmmy0FLRh

– LSI AFRICA (@lsiafrica) September 18, 2022

Growls against the “zero Covid”

On social networks, we mourned the dead but this was accompanied by discontent against the “zero Covid” policy, which often sees the inhabitants of entire groups of buildings transported, often at night, to quarantine places sometimes several miles away. hundreds of kilometers.

“How we feel about this cannot simply be expressed by lighting a candle and saying ‘rest in peace'”, commented on Weibo a user whose remark received 15,000 “likes” in a short time. “What proof do you have that it is not you who will be in this bus one night?”, Launched another Internet user, also widely approved. With the most popular answer: “Who says we’re not there? It’s clear that we are all there. We are all in this dark and terrifying bus”.

While submitting its deep condolences, the government also stressed in a press release that it was necessary “to draw lessons from this accident, to examine the conditions of quarantine and transport of people supported by the epidemic, as well as the problems of road safety”.

During the confinement of the megalopolis of Shanghai for two months in the spring, many inhabitants of cities affected by Covid cases had been forcibly transported, in cars in the middle of the night, to summary facilities informed in other provinces for be quarantined there – despite having tested negative for the virus.

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