Central Urumqi, Photo source: britannica.com
By Tahir Imin Uyghurian
July 20, 2020
According to the Chinese State-run media Global Times, “From midnight Wednesday to midday Saturday, Urumqi reported 17 confirmed COVID-19 patients, and 23 asymptomatic cases, according to local authorities. The current outbreak is related to a group gathering which is developing rapidly, and local health authorities have advised people not to panic as all the confirmed cases have mild to moderate symptoms, who are also under centralized medical observation.”
Deutsche Welle reported on Monday that Urumqi City is in full battle array. After the first confirmed case, the community was closed, the subway line 1 was closed, and the flights were reduced. On the Internet, some people have questioned that, based on the example of the criteria for the closure of the city, every major city in China will inevitably “take turns to closure”.
According to information Uyghur Times obtained from the region, the new confirmed case has made Urumqi a ghost city without people on streets.” it seems to be more serious than previous times, we have never seen such serious measures before” said an Uyghur woman who spoke to Uyghur Times using VPN.
The Chinese government has not identified the ethnic identities of newly infected people with the virus, but our informants told us “the people infected are Uyghurs” The capital city Urumqi, with 3.5 million residents, pleads to accelerate nucleic acid testing in the entire city, with local hospitals fully deploying testing capabilities in recent days as reported on Saturday. Yaxin network reported on Monday, the regional Party Secretary Chen Chuanguo and his deputy and chief of the regional government Shohrat Zakir paid a visit to Uyghur residents in Renmin Road, Tangritagh (Tianshan ) district to express their condolences to Cadres and employees of all ethnic groups on the front line. It also said The National Health Commission dispatched 10 medical teams including over 200 members from 10 provinces and municipalities to help carry out nucleic acid testing in Urumqi. Free testing has been carried out in groups in the city, authorities said on Saturday. One local hospital has been conducting nucleic acid testing on over 8,000 residents per day, according to media reports.
Urumqi has declared a “wartime mode” as all local residential communities have been put under “sealed-off management” in its fight against the resurgence of COVID-19, local authorities announced during a press conference held on Saturday afternoon. Urumqi launched an emergency response plan and set up 15 special groups for anti-epidemic actions, according to the local authorities. Some people are skeptical about the Chinese official narratives on the situation. One netizen said these are the signs that indicate that there are much more serious issues going on in Urumqi that we don’t know. “Urumqi had a case and closed the city. Do you think this is logically reasonable?” Fang Zhouzi, a well-known public figure, and popular science writer said on Twitter on Friday: “Urumqi had a new Coronavirus case and closed the city. Based on prevention measures, big cities in China will inevitably be closed in the future, taking turns.”
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