China Blocks Covid Policy Dissenters’ Social Media Accounts
More than 1,000 social media profiles that criticized the government’s Covid policy have been deleted in China, some of which had millions of followers.
Weibo, a social networking site, announced that it had banned or suspended accounts for what it claimed as slanderous remarks made towards Chinese Covid experts.
Weibo did not identify the posts that had sparked the response.
After China’s tight zero-Covid policy was abandoned in December, infections and fatalities shot up dramatically.
Up until recently, most online criticism was directed at Covid’s severe enforcing of its rules, including lockdowns that made people spend weeks alone at home.
Weibo reported that it has discovered around 13,000 breaches, including assaults on professionals, academics, and healthcare workers. A total of 1,120 accounts have received temporary or permanent bans.
Weibo issued a statement saying, “It is not permissible to broadcast personal attacks and ideas that create conflicts, or to hurl insults at those who hold a different point of view.”
A harsh response would be given to any action that harms the [Weibo] community.
There have been reports of hospitals and crematoriums being overcrowded after China abandoned important components of zero-Covid in response to historically significant demonstrations against the policy.
But applying its own stringent standards, China has stopped providing daily cases statistics and has only reported 22 Covid deaths since December.
The start of the 40-day Lunar New Year celebration, which is also regarded as the largest annual migration of people in the world, was observed on Saturday in China.
The Ministry of Transportation predicted that during the next 40 days, more than two billion people will travel, an increase of 99.5% from the previous year and reaching trip figures of 70% in 2019.
This has raised widespread worries that the festival could experience another surge of infections, particularly in rural places where there are fewer ICU beds and ventilators available.
From Sunday, China will no longer require foreign visitors to undergo quarantine, allowing many Chinese to leave the country for the first time in nearly three years.
Image Source: ndtv.com
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