Anger in China over death of teen in Covid quarantine centre after pleas by family for medical help ignored

Anger in China over death of teen in Covid quarantine centre after pleas by family for medical help ignored

The death of a teenager lodged in a Covid quarantine facility in China has sparked outrage online amid stringent measures imposed by authorities to contain a fresh outbreak.

A 16-year-old girl who was isolated in a quarantine centre in Ruzhou in Henan province under China’s “zero tolerance policy” for Covid, died after repeated requests for medical intervention were ignored, a family member alleged.

The teen’s aunt said in a video that her niece died after suffering from fever and her symptoms such as breathing issues and vomiting were ignored by the authorities at the facility, according to reports.

Distressing videos of the girl struggling to breathe after suffering from fever have been circulating on Chinese social media platforms, triggering outrage among people. The videos, however, remain unverified and there’s no confirmation from officials yet.

“We have been calling for help since 3am last night, including the mayor’s hotline and centre for disease control and prevention line, and we couldn’t get through,” the girl’s aunt said, according to The Guardian.

“I just want all my family and friends to see this video and spread it, so I can find a place for help, and seek justice. I just want to know what is the reason behind her death.”

The incident comes amid growing outrage in China over the country’s strict isolation rules that have been put in force after a handful of cases. In recent days, China has repeated its pledge to stick to its zero-Covid policy despite growing public frustration with it and its toll on the economy.

The Henan province has seen 26 cases reported earlier this week, which prompted strict rules.

China‘s capital, Beijing, has also dialled up measures, strengthening public checks and locking down some residential compounds after a quadrupling of its caseload in recent weeks, just as a key Communist Party congress entered full swing.

The city of 21 million people on Thursday reported 18 new locally transmitted cases for the previous day, bringing the tally for the past 10 days to 197. That is four times more than the 49 infections detected in the previous 10-day period.

Additional reporting by agencies

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