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  • Writer's pictureXiaodong Fang

Wuhan quarantine has proved to failure and the Chinese government continues human rights abuses

As the Chinese government tightens Wuhan lockdown in 'Wartime' battle with coronavirus, the deaths in China from Coronavirus reach 1,367 out of the 60,282 confirmed cases (As of February 12, 2020). In Hubei province (where the city of Wuhan locates) alone, the deaths have reached 1,310 out of 48,206 confirmed cases. With the confirmed and death tolls inside and outside Wuhan out of control, the quarantine appears to be a problematic and inhuman method. And the Chinese government should be responsible for the increasing death and infected.

A Railway Station in Wuhan. Photo: Weibo. Obtain from scmp.com

A comparison between quarantine and non-quarantine


One thing could prove the failure of the quarantine is the comparison between the conditions of Hong Kong and Wuhan. Unlike Wuhan and many other mainland cities in China, Hong Kong does not impose a universal lockdown of all people in the city. Instead, it only a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China, a similar approach with many foreign countries in the world. In the absence of a Wuhan-like quarantine, only 50 cases were confirmed in Hong Kong with 1 death, which was from Wuhan (As of February 12, 2020). The sharp difference between a complete lockdown city and a non-lockdown city shows that the Wuhan quarantine is a failure in terms of virus control.


Human rights abuses


Aside from being a failed method to control disease spreading, the Wuhan quarantine is also an inhumane practice, which comes with massive human rights abuses by the Chinese authorities.


First of all, the quarantine "legitimizes" the unlawful approach by the Chinese government to detain activists. For example, Wuhan citizen journalist, Chen Qiushi, who covers the truth of the coronavirus has gone missing in Wuhan in a forced quarantine. Fang Bin, a Wuhan businessman who had been covering China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak from its epicenter in Wuhan, was allegedly arrested. Queries to the Wuhan police about Fang and Chen didn’t receive an answer.


Second, severe censorship was imposed in the Wuhan lockdown. The Chinese government has engaged in wide-ranging efforts to suppress information about the coronavirus and the dangers it posed to public health. According to Amnesty International, in late December 2019, doctors in Wuhan shared with colleagues their fears about patients with symptoms similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that began in southern China in 2002. They were immediately silenced and punished by the local authorities for “spreading rumors.”


Third, people fleed from Wuhan are facing discrimination in other places, which, to a large extent, due to the Chinese state media's unfair framing and priming of the quarantine. People from Wuhan – even those without symptoms – have been rejected from hotels, barricaded in their own flats and had their personal information leaked online in China, according to media reports.


An inhuman practice


Inside the lockdown city of Wuhan and other quarantine areas in China, many patients are being turned away from hospitals after hours of queueing. Facilities do not have access to the necessary diagnostic tests. Apparently, the inaccessibility of necessary medical treatment of those infected will further increase the death toll and spreading of the Coronavirus in China and elsewhere.


The Chinese government is responsible for the spreading Coronavirus so far, since it covered up the virus outbreak in the first place, and then imposed such a problematic and inhuman quarantine to millions of innocent people in China.


The free world should condemn the Chinese government for its inability of disease control that caused a global public health crisis, and should take effective measures to change China's political conditions towards democracy that would save Chinese people from CCP's brutal authoritarian control.




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