Days after sealing off Wuhan city in the wake of second wave of coronavirus, China locked down the north-eastern city of Shulan, soon after it was re-classified as high risk zone.
Two weeks ago, a woman in Shulan, with no known history of travel or exposure to the virus, tested positive for the coronavirus. Afterwards, a bunch of people, connected to the woman, also tested positive, forcing authorities to shut down the public places, schools and public transport.
Shulan, the new pandemic hotspot in China ?
The city, which falls under the Jilin province, is home to 700,000 people. Sharing a border with Russia, Shulan evoked fear of becoming the second hot spot in China after 34 people were tested positive for the virus in Jilin province and three in neighboring Liaoning, few days after a cluster tested positive in the Shulan. The 45-year-old laundry woman, a worker for the Public Security Bureau here, tested positive for the virus on May 7, nearly 73 days after no reported case of the virus.
The South China Morning Post reported that all the villages and residential compounds were sealed off, with only one person, with restricted time frame, per household being allowed to venture out to buy essentials every two days.
Quoting a statement issued by Shulan's coronavirus prevention and control group, the publication reported that under the new lockdown, no one is allowed to enter or leave villages or compounds with suspected or confirmed cases. The local stores have been instructed to deliver essentials.
China Detains Another Citizen Journalist
Meanwhile, China detained another citizen journalist who spoke against the government handling of coronavirus in the country. 37-year-old Zhang Zhan, a Shanghai-based former lawyer, was vocal on social media in criticizing Chinese government's failure to control the pandemic.
Zhang. Who live-streamed her experience in Wuhan on Twitter and YouTube, since February 1, was charged for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble", by the authorities. Asia One reported that, Zhang Zhan's family received confirmation that she was being held at a detention centre in Shanghai Pudong New District. In an article posted on Twitter in February, Zhang warned the Chinese government to not undermine human rights.
"The government isolates individuals from the outside world in the name of treatment. In the name of maintaining stability, the number of infections and deaths is covered up. The media is kept under control in the name of 'positive energy'. [The authorities] are coercively and violently ordering and depriving people of their basic human and property rights," Zhang wrote.
Earlier, three citizen journalists, who tried to highlight the failure of the government in handling the pandemic, went missing in Wuhan. Chen Qiushi, Fang Bin, and Li Zehua disappeared from the public arena after voicing their opinions on the social media sites. However, a few days ago, Li Zehua appeared and stated that he was taken to a quarantine centre before being sent to his hometown.