Published: 2021-12-24 12:46
Last Updated: 2022-01-23 15:14
The disciplinary body in China announced, Friday, the punishment of about thirty officials, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in the city of Xi'an, which is currently under closure, in the latest series of measures taken by the state in the context of its approach aimed at completely eliminating the spread of the virus.
China, where the coronavirus was detected for the first time in the world in late 2019, is taking maximum precautions to prevent new infections, while preparing to organize the Winter Olympics in February in the capital, Beijing.
Thanks to the so-called "zero-covid" strategy, strict border restrictions, prolonged home quarantine and targeted lockdown measures, the world's most populous country has kept cases to a minimum.
However, infections have been increasing in recent weeks, and the authorities have asked the 13 million residents of Xi'an to stay in their homes from Thursday, with the closure of stores and the launch of extensive campaigns to conduct diagnostic tests.
The Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection announced Friday that 26 Communist Party officials were subject to sanctions for "not sufficiently adhering to the application of measures to prevent and contain the spread of the virus."
49 new cases were recorded Friday in Xi'an, bringing the number of cases to more than 250 in recent weeks.
Chinese officials deemed to have failed to contain the spread of the virus in their regions are often dismissed or disciplinary measures taken.
The committee's statement stated that the inspections showed a laxity in conducting examinations and a lack of coordination in measures, which made it difficult to trace the chain of contacts in Xi'an.
A party official in Mongolia was fired after an outbreak of cases in his area and the head of the Djingju Health Commission was dismissed after cases were detected in the city this summer.
The area of spread in Xi'an expanded to include five other Chinese cities, including Beijing, according to the official media, which raised fears of a rapid spread of the virus in this vast country.
From Thursday, families in Xi'an are only allowed to send one person abroad for necessities every two days.
Residents wishing to leave the city must obtain permission, while key sites, such as the Mud Army Museum, which houses the tomb of the first Chinese emperor, are closed until further notice.