Covid-19 lockdown: China city mayor admits his government's failures in administrationtext_fields
The mayor of a northeastern Chinese city on the North Korean border has apologized for unspecified failures related to its COVID-19 response.
As per an AP report, the mayor apologized for failures in his administration's work amid widespread — but often disguised — dissatisfaction over the government's heavy-handed approach to handling the pandemic.
Although no specifics were given, Dandong Mayor Hao Jianjun in a statement issued by the city government late Monday admitted that his government's work and basic services had been "unsatisfactory."
According to unconfirmed reports, Dandong had seen one of the strictest lockdowns in China, with even deliveries of food and other necessities banned.
This was despite the city reporting only a handful of Covid cases.
Hao also acknowledged the sacrifices made by the city's 2.4 million citizens, along with the "complaining voices" among them over the government's work.
Hao further remarked that Dandong would now be moving into a stage of pandemic control that would be "more proactive, more active and more effective."
The failure to root out the source of new cases had also prompted the Dandong officials to take increasingly extreme measures, some of them of questionable scientific merit.
One among them was a bizarre recommendation that included the officials directing the residents to close their windows to prevent the virus from being blown in from North Korea, even though its ability to spread through the air is extremely limited.
As per reports, officials at one point also transported residents of an entire apartment block to quarantine in the city of Shenyang, about 250 kilometers (150 miles) north of Dandong. Upon their release, it was discovered the positive case sparking the move had been in a resident of a neighboring building, leading to an angry confrontation between the residents and authorities.
Lengthy lockdowns have become the norm in China's COVID-19 response, with Shanghai's ongoing predicament gaining the most notoriety. Most of the 25 million residents of China's largest city and key financial hub were confined to their homes or immediate neighborhoods for two months or more and hundreds of thousands continue to remain under restrictions.