China Demands ‘Patience’ with Lockdowns as Coronavirus Cases Surge Ahead

XI'AN, CHINA - DECEMBER 20: Staff members in protective suits work at the dormitory a
VCG/VCG/Getty Images

The Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper People’s Daily on Monday told citizens to “boost their confidence” and be “patient” with China’s brutal coronavirus lockdowns as the Communist Party Congress (CPC) begins next weekend.

Chinese coronavirus cases are surging despite China’s draconian control measures, a potential source of embarrassment for dictator Xi Jinping as he seeks an unprecedented third term in power at the CPC.

The People’s Daily insisted “prevention and control guidelines are effective against the Omicron variant,” despite all evidence to the contrary.

“Confidence is more important than gold in the fight against the epidemic,” the Communist paper proclaimed while admitting some of the more heavy-handed measures might have gone too far.

“We must optimize epidemic prevention and control initiatives, and further improve them to be more scientific, precise and effective to minimize the impact on economic development and the normal life of the public, and to increase confidence and patience in our current epidemic prevention and control policies,” the People’s Daily droned.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Monday found few signs of a lighter touch as public “frustration” mounts ahead of the historic Communist Party Congress. The SCMP noted cities across China are still imposing “pre-emptive lockdowns and bans,” with little concern for the resulting disruptions to the economy, or even for shortages of food and medicine.

“Local governments are resorting to strict punishment, sometimes even police detention, to deal with control violations,” the SCMP noted, describing official threats to haul citizens away to concentration camp-style “extended central isolation” centers.

Reuters quoted Chinese officials telling stranded tourists to “seek temporary work as electricians, cooks, and wood craftsmen” after a sudden lockdown was imposed on Xinjiang province, home of the oppressed Uyghur Muslims. 

China has been trying to paper over its massive human rights abuses against the Uyghurs and finish the job of subduing the Uyghurs, by turning their homeland into a tourist attraction. Many Xinjiang residents believe their province has been subjected to exceptionally sudden and harsh coronavirus lockdowns to crush their spirits.

Reuters also found residents of Shanghai growing nervous as Chinese coronavirus cases increase. Shanghai was placed under a grueling two-month “snap” lockdown early this summer and its inhabitants are worried it could happen again. Several Shanghai districts announced public venues would be shut down on Monday, but so far only a few residents report being incarcerated in their homes, as much of the population was in June.

Some other cities were placed under full lockdown on Monday, including the northern city of Fenyang and Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia. 

“Yesterday I was banned from leaving my residential compound. Today I was prohibited from exiting the building. It’s the sixth day of lockdown. I’m so desperate!” one Hohhot resident wrote on Weibo, China’s heavily-censored version of Twitter.

“I’ve been eating instant noodles for a week. Canteens are closed. Delivery services are unavailable. My stock of instant noodles is running low. Help!” cried another.

Shares of international casino companies slipped on Monday as news of the latest lockdowns spread, quashing hopes for a recovery in Chinese consumer spending. Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands Corp, and Ceasars Entertainment Inc. were among the U.S. companies reporting stock slides of up to 12 percent.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.