OLIVIA LI | EPOCH TIMES
Northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Province is a new epicenter for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus outbreak. In Harbin, capital city of the province, many communities are under lockdown. Buses were seen taking residents away for mass quarantine in recent days.
Over 100 Infected at Zhengda Foods
According to China’s official statistics, on Jan. 21, a total of 41 new infections were identified in Harbin, among them 38 employees at Zhengda Foods.
However, The Epoch Times learned from several locals that more than one hundred employees from Zhengda Foods were diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus.
Mr. Gao, who lives in Taixing community, said in a phone interview that one of the confirmed COVID patients at Zhengda Foods lives in the same community. According to Gao, the person infected 11 neighbors.
“I heard that in Zhengda Foods, more than 30 employees were infected, and another 80 plus employees were identified as asymptomatic virus carriers,” Gao said. In China, asymptomatic patients are counted in a separate category from those who exhibit symptoms.
The Epoch Times could not independently verify the information on COVID cases.
Gao works at a store near his home. He has stayed in his store for six days and could not go home, because his community was held under “sealed off management”—meaning no one was allowed to enter or leave.
“All nearby communities were also sealed off. Stores and restaurants had been closed for several days,” Gao said.
At around 5 p.m. on Jan. 22, Gao noticed that 11 buses were parked outside the Taixing community. All staff members on the buses were wearing white protective suits. They were going to take away residents to be quarantined, Gao said.
Another resident in Taixing community confirmed that on Jan. 21 and 22, more than ten buses arrived each day to take residents away.
Unknown Quarantine Site, Unknown Future
Transferring residents in virus-hit areas to a far-off location for “mass quarantine and medical observation” is a new prevention measure that Chinese authorities recently enacted.
On the same day when mass transfer was taking place in Harbin, Shanghai authorities also announced a plan to evacuate 2,000 people from the city’s Huangpu district.
After a new infection case in the district was identified on Jan. 21, local residents, hotel guests, and hotel staff in the affected area all had to get onto designated buses to leave.
Previously, an even larger-scale “mass transfer” was reported in northern China’s Hebei Province.
In early January, Hebei Province announced more cases of the CCP virus than any other province in China. The virus resurgence in Hebei mostly started from rural areas, especially a district called Xiaogaocun. Videos from the district uploaded online showed dozens of buses waiting on the street and residents being evacuated and transferred elsewhere for mass quarantine.
Chinese state media later confirmed that more than 20,000 residents are now under “mass quarantine and medical observation” at an undisclosed location.
In one of the videos that circulated online around Jan. 10, a female villager showed pictures of herself packing stuff at home and then boarding a bus in Xiaogaocun. With her face blocked using editing techniques, she shared her feelings in front of the camera.
“There was an announcement this morning that the entire village must be vacated. We are unclear where we are going, and there was hearsay that it was a place in Shijiazhuang city. We had to hurry to prepare food and clothing,” she said. “I prepared a lot of steamed buns. Although I have no idea what the quarantine site will be like, it’s always good to prepare as much as possible.”
She felt puzzled as to why everyone must be transferred to another place, as she felt more comfortable with self-quarantine at home, but authorities made no explanation to villagers.
“For families with children like ours, there is a lot more to prepare and it is very inconvenient,” she continued. “Now I feel like a refugee. It is an unfamiliar place and we don’t know how long we will have to stay there…We feel anxious and uneasy.”
A few days later, the entire Xiaogaocun region was vacated, according to a volunteer who went there to check the situation and spoke to The Epoch Times.
Hong Ning and Zhang Dun contributed to this report.