SHANGHAI – China has flooded cities and towns with battalions of people occupied in the neighborhood, uniformed volunteers and representatives of the Communist Party to carry out one of the largest social control campaigns in history.
The goal: to keep hundreds of millions of people away from everyone but their closest relatives.
The nation is fighting the coronavirus outbreak with a grassroots mobilization reminiscent of the Mao-style mass crusades that had not been seen in China in decades, essentially trusting the prevention of first-line epidemics to a supercharged version of a neighborhood watch.
Housing complexes in some cities have issued paper hall pass equivalents to regulate how often residents leave their homes. Apartment buildings have rejected their own tenants if they come from outside the city. Train stations prevent people from entering cities if they cannot prove they live or work there. In the countryside, villages have been closed with vehicles, tents and other makeshift barriers.
Despite China's arsenal of high-tech surveillance tools, controls are mainly applied by hundreds of thousands of workers and volunteers, who control the temperature of residents, record their movements, monitor quarantines and, most importantly, move away to strangers who can carry the virus.
Residential closures of varying stringency, from the control points at the entrances of the buildings to the strict limits to go outdoors, now cover at least 760 million people in China, or more than half of the country's population According to a New York Times analysis of government announcements in provinces and major cities Many of these people live far from the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first reported and that the government sealed last month.
BEIJING (AP) – A recent speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping that has been published by state media indicates for the first time that he led the response to a new virus outbreak since the beginning of the crisis.
The publication of the speech on February 3 was an apparent attempt to show that the leadership of the Communist Party had acted decisively from the beginning, but it also opens the Chinese leader to criticism as to why the public was not alerted before.
In the speech, Xi said he instructed to fight the virus on January 7 and ordered the closure that began on January 23 of the cities at the epicenter of the outbreak. His comments were published by state media on Saturday night.
"On January 22, in light of the rapid spread of the epidemic and the challenges of prevention and control, I clearly requested that Hubei Province implement comprehensive and strict controls on the exit of people," Xi said at a meeting of the permanent committee of the party, its upper body.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for greater control over the online discussion and greater vigilance to ensure "positive energy" and social stability, state media said on Saturday, as the country struggles to contain the new deadly coronavirus.
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As we move on until late Sunday night in mainland China, Taiwan has become the last country or territory to report a fatality related to the virus, reports the SCMP. They join Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines to report deaths related to viruses outside of China.