Danson Cheong Profile picture
Nov 27, 2022 12 tweets 5 min read Read on X
Covid control in Beijing has broken down - a thread:
On Friday night I received dreaded notification that one of the residents in my housing block had been picked up as a positive case in community screening and we might be going into lockdown. 1/N Image
But strangely my compound’s property management 物业, which notified us through WeChat said since there was still no official notice from the CDC/government so we were in effect still free to leave. 2/N Image
On Saturday morning, my neighbours discovered our block was still not sealed and seeing as it was beautiful outside, we decided to go for a walk. 3/N ImageImageImage
Then on Saturday evening, local community officials from the shequ 社区 notified us that we were going into lockdown, with the lockdown period backdated to Friday night - they went around giving out antigen test kits. 4/N Image
It turns out the positive case is on the same level that I’m on. And the shequ 社区 has decided that two levels up and down as well as the entire stack of units 单元 with the positive case in the 36-storey tower should be classified close contacts 🤷‍♂️ 5/N
My neighbours of course are not happy - the shequ 社区 has no authority to willy nilly declare our tower a high-risk area and seal it off. They point out that without a 红头文件 (official government document) from the CDC a lockdown cannot be imposed. 6/N
My neighbours who go down to negotiate with the shequ社区 point out that our tower was not listed as an official high-risk area. Surprise result from the negotiations is that they’ve agreed to unseal our tower for the time being while the paperwork is being prepared. 7/N ImageImage
A similar situation happened in a neighbouring tower after a close contact was infected. The block was sealed off pending a confirmation test on Thursday - after two days results were still not out so residents just decided to tear down the tape/barriers and leave. 8/N
Beijing today reported 4,307 cases, my guess is that the shequ社区 officials are being told of positive cases, but CDC is so jammed up with the caseload that official paperwork needed to enforce Covid measures are not forthcoming - leaving these officials in a bind. 9/N Image
It's clear the system is struggling to cope, and with numbers continuing to climb it will only get worse. A harsh Shanghai-style lockdown seems the only solution if Beijing is to stick to zero-Covid. But as protests around China have shown, doing this won't be easy. 10/N
People might be at their breaking point, as @dawn_wei_tan points out. I'm not sure how this will end but the next few days are going to be tense. 11/11
Update: as of Sunday evening we’ve been classified as a high risk area, so I guess we’re locked in. But still no official word on how long the lockdown will last Image

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More from @dansoncj

Oct 22, 2022
Glorious blue skies in Beijing to close the 20th Party Congress
But it took a fair bit of effort to get here, journalists have been in a Covid bubble since Wednesday. And Covid testing regimen has been excessive to say the least - twice-a-day tests yesterday and today
Proceedings underway in the main hall, meanwhile we’re just waiting to get in
Read 14 tweets

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