People cross a road amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China December 31, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
New Year’s Eve in China prompted an outpouring of reflection online, some of it critical, about the strict zero-COVID policy the country adhered to for almost three years.
China this month scrapped repeated mass testing, centralised quarantine for infected people, and lockdowns, the hallmarks of a policy aimed at eradicating all outbreaks of COVID-19.
The sudden change to live with the virus has prompted a wave of infections across the country, a drop in economic activity and international concern, with Britain and France the latest countries to impose curbs on travellers from China.
A medical worker in a protective suit checks a thermometer for a patient at the entrance to the fever clinic of the Central Hospital of Wuhan, amid of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China December 31, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
On Saturday, thousands of users on China’s Twitter-like Weibo criticised the removal of a viral video made by local outlet Netease News that collated real-life stories from 2022 that had captivated the Chinese public.
Many of the stories included in the video, which by Saturday could not be seen or shared on domestic social media platforms, highlighted the difficulties ordinary Chinese faced as a result of the strict zero-COVID policy.
Elderly patients receive IV drip treatment at a clinic in a village of Lezhi county after strict measures to curb the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were removed nationwide, in Ziyang, Sichuan province, China December 29, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
Weibo and Netease did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
One Weibo hashtag about the video garnered almost 4 million hits before it disappeared from platforms around noon on Saturday. Social media users created new hashtags to keep the comments pouring in.
“What a perverse world, you can only sing the praises of the fake but you cannot show real life,” one user wrote, attaching a screenshot of a blank page that is displayed when searching for the hashtags.
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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter