While the official was focused on touting a reported reduction in daily COVID-19 infections, local residents said that her visit was just for show as it didn’t address any of their hardships caused by the government’s lockdown policies. Instead, tighter restrictions for the official visit had made life even harder.
Since Nov. 12, residents have been living under strict lockdown, with no one allowed to leave their homes. According to a notice, if any members of the household leave the home, the quarantine period is reset to 14 days. Authorities installed electronic door sensors and stuck seals on doors to monitor for noncompliance. However, many households have run out of food and essentials due to the strict measures and lack of lockdown services.
Mainland Chinese media reported that from Nov. 12 to 13, Sun traveled to Dalian, where the COVID-19 outbreak is severe, to conduct “research and guidance on epidemic prevention and control.” Netizens noticed that upon Sun’s arrival, as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) efforts to guide China’s “fight against the pandemic,” official reports of daily cases numbers showed a “turning point” and a “slowing down and controllable” situation.
Official sources for Dalian reported 61 cases on Nov. 13, 25 cases on Nov. 14, and only three new cases on Nov. 15—all of whom were close contacts already quarantined in hotels.
According to official state media reports, during her inspection, Sun visited Dalian’s university town, the companies and hotels that reported infection clusters, and the nearby county-level city of Zhuanghe. On Nov. 14, Sun also visited a COVID-19 test site in an elementary school in Dalian and a residential community.
In a video posted from the residential community at Yiju Garden in Sunshine Yicheng, Ganjingzi District of Dalian, apartment residents in lockdown shouted to Sun from their homes, “We have no food, and the price [of rationed food] is too expensive!”
Also on Nov. 14, local officials specially purchased some food and supplies for residents in Quanshui Street, Ganjingzi District of Dalian, at the time of Sun’s visit. But by Nov. 15, the purchased food and supplies had still not been distributed after they were left unattended as many residents continued to go hungry.
400K families in Zhuanghe, Dalian City in #CCPChina are sealed inside their homes. Nobody is allowed to go out for 14 days(Nov. 11 to 25). If the seal is damaged, that family will be taken away, be centrally quarantined at their own expenses. pic.twitter.com/EmRToERZmS
— Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferatntd) November 13, 2021
A local resident in Zhuanghe city of Dalian, which has been hit hard by this round of the COVID-19 outbreak, told the Chinese language Epoch Times that the city is under total lockdown, and that Sun’s visit has not been helpful for the local situation at all.
“The rationed food and the delivery are not free, and then the local businesses have been forced to close without any compensation, and we still have to pay for the loans,” said local business owner surnamed Lin.
“The controls became stricter with Sun’s visit. Now, people are not allowed to leave their home at all. All the stores are closed and sealed off, and people’s houses are also sealed. No business is allowed to open,” he added.
“Now, they’ve installed sensors at people’s doors. If you open the door, they [the local authorities] will know and come to arrest you. If you leave your home, you will be arrested. Anyway, I can’t run my business now, they won’t allow it. So, don’t think about ordering a cake in Zhuanghe in the near future, because no business is open to make it.”
Lin also revealed, “Sun was only here to take a quick look. She arrived at noon and left before evening.”
Wu Cenxi contributed to the report.