CHINA: 27 individuals died when a bus transporting them to a COVID-19 quarantine facility crashed in the southwest province of Guizhou, inciting outrage among Chinese social media users.
Due to Beijing’s strict zero-Covid strategy, millions of Chinese are still subject to severe restrictions, so the deaths in the early hours of Sunday quickly turned into a focal point for criticism of the government.
Only two people have died from COVID-19 in Guizhou in the entire pandemic.
“What proof do you have that you won’t be on that bus at night someday?” read one popular post on the Twitter-like Weibo site.
On Sunday afternoon, the bus crash rose fast to the top of Weibo’s hot topics before abruptly dropping out of the top 50.
WeChat quickly deleted at least a few well-read and furious blogs on the subject after they were published. However, some initial stories and comments stayed even though Weibo had removed many harsher ones.
The bus carrying 47 people “flipped onto its side” in the collision, according to a statement posted on social media by Sandu county police.
Police reported that twenty persons received medical attention for injuries as emergency personnel were sent to the rural Qiannan prefecture.
Photos that were extensively circulated on social media on Sunday showed a truck towing a gold-colored passenger bus with its top entirely shattered.
The accident happened at about 2.40 am on Sunday, according to the Guizhou government, and the car had been “transporting people linked to the epidemic to quarantine” from the provincial capital of Guiyang.
According to the local administration, the provincial governor of Guizhou and the leader of the Communist party “rushed” to the Qiannan prefecture to oversee emergency response efforts.
The leaders also “expressed heartfelt condolences to the victims.”
Guizhou reported 712 new confirmed cases on Saturday, a significant increase from the 154 instances the day before and accounting for over 70% of all new cases in China.
Guiyang, the capital and home to 6 million people, was locked down earlier in September.
Local officials are under pressure to keep outbreaks under control.