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China’s zero-Covid policy is criticized

China’s zero-Covid policy is criticized

China’s zero-Covid policy is criticized

China’s zero-Covid policy is criticized

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  • A suspected gas leak inside a sealed home compound in northeastern China killed a 3-year-old boy.
  • The boy’s father posted on social media that Covid personnel prevented him from leaving their complex.
  • His post drew millions of views on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
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A suspected gas leak inside a sealed home compound in northeastern China killed a 3-year-old boy, sparking new outcry at China’s zero-Covid policy.

The boy’s father posted on social media that Covid personnel prevented him from leaving their complex in Lanzhou, Gansu province’s capital, to seek treatment for his child, causing a deadly delay.

The father’s Wednesday post lamenting his son’s death drew hundreds of millions of views on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.

“Three years of pandemic was his entire life,” a common comment said.

It’s the latest tragedy to feed a rising reaction against China’s zero-Covid policy, which continues to disrupt daily life with lockdowns, quarantines, and mass testing even while the rest of the world moves on.

Despite Chinese officials, including leader Xi Jinping, claiming that Covid regulations “place people and their lives first,” many individuals have died after being denied emergency medical assistance during lockdowns.

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Since early October, Lanzhou’s neighborhoods, including the boy’s family’s, have been sealed down.

The boy’s father reported his wife and child had gas poisoning around noon on Tuesday. The father’s CPR helped the mother, but the boy went into a coma, according to the man’s social media post.

The father tried to phone an ambulance and the police several times but couldn’t. He then asked Covid staff enforcing the lockdown at their complex for help, but they instructed him to ask his community officials or keep calling for an ambulance.

He said the workers asked him to submit a negative Covid test result, but the chemical had not tested in 10 days.

He became desperate and brought his son outdoors, where a “kind-hearted” resident summoned a taxi to take them to the hospital, he wrote.

The physicians were too late to save his son.

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“My child might have been spared if he was transported to the hospital sooner,” he wrote.

Online maps place the hospital 3 kilometers from the boy’s home, a 10-minute journey.

The father posted on social media that the cops arrived after he took his son to the hospital. In a statement late Tuesday, the local police said they had swiftly responded to a public cry for help and assisted take two persons, including the child, to the hospital 14 minutes later.

The police statement said the infant died of carbon monoxide poisoning and the mother was in stable condition, although it did not say if lockdown procedures delayed their treatment.

CNN spoke to Lanzhou officials and the boy’s father. Father remained silent.

Lanzhou authorities expressed sorrow and condolences to the child’s family on Thursday. They promised to “severely deal with” officials and work units that failed to rescue the youngster.

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“We have learned a bitter lesson from this occurrence… and will put people and their lives first in our work,” the statement stated.

The boy’s murder also enraged locals. Residents protested on social media videos.

A hazmat-suited woman yells at officials. “Ask your commander to come here and tell us what occurred today,” she shouts. Another man shouts, “Give me my freedom!”

SWAT police arrive in many buses in other videos.

One shows rows of officers in hazmat suits walking down the street, while others show locals in a standoff with uniformed police officers brandishing shields, helmets, and masks.

A nearby resident told CNN he witnessed SWAT team cops moving in. CNN cannot independently authenticate the videos.

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The resident reported they screamed “one, two, one” as they marched down the street.

He decried Lanzhou’s “excessive epidemic prevention and lockdowns” and tightening restrictions.

“Now, even knowing the truth is an excessive hope,” he remarked. “How many comparable occurrences have occurred nationwide?”

The father posted on social media that he was approached by a “civil organization” employee and promised 100,000 yuan (about $14,000) if he signed an agreement not to seek accountability from the authorities.

“I didn’t sign. “I want an explanation for my son’s death,” he wrote. “Why didn’t they let me go?”

Weibo and Baidu posts by the father about the incident deleted late Wednesday night.

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