27 people died in the road accident that took place overnight in Guizhou, China. Another 20 people injured. The passengers were headed to a quarantine facility.
27 people have died in the most serious road accident recorded in China since the beginning of the year. A bus overturned on the road in the mountainous province of Guizhou: 47 people were traveling in the vehicle. Another 20 were injured. The passengers were headed to a Covid quarantine facility. The episode sparked an avalanche of criticism of the “zero-Covid” policy desired by the Chinese authorities.
The bus was carrying 47 people from Guiyang and headed for a county 155 miles away. The vehicle overturned on a mountainous section of the motorway and fell into a ravine. It all happened around 2.40 am this morning. It is not clear why the bus traveled the winding mountain roads after midnight: the Chinese transport regulation prohibits long-distance buses from running between 2 and 5 in the morning.
The survivors were rushed to the emergency hospital. The deaths sparked protests and anger on social networks. Many question the effectiveness of the contagion policy which relies on sudden lockdowns, mass testing and extensive quarantine measures to curb outbreaks. These measures have resulted in a series of demonstrations in cities such as Guiyang, Chengdu and Jinan.
State media closed the comment section of many posts related to the incident. Online searches, on the other hand, would have been filtered to show only posts from official government accounts and pro-government media.
Officials in Guizhou, the place where the accident took place, have for some time been subjected to enormous pressure to contain the Covid outbreaks in view of the 20th Party Congress which also includes the presence of Xi Jinping.
Gizhou recorded 712 infections on Saturday: 70% of new cases nationwide. Many local officials in Guiyang have been suspended for failing to implement anti-Covid policies correctly. The provincial capital of Guizhou has prepared 20 buses and 40 drivers to transport the close contacts of positive cases to other cities. As of Saturday, more than 7,000 people have been transferred, while another 3,000 were waiting to get on a bus.