Chinese Residents Seek Help Online Amid Draconian COVID-19 Policies

Chinese residents living in the northeastern city of Changchun are pleading for help online, after being told by local authorities not to step outside their homes because of COVID-19 prevention measures.

One resident seeking help online was Mr. Zhao. Writing on China’s Twitter-like Weibo on March 30, he stated that his mother tested positive for COVID-19 two days earlier, while he, his wife, and their baby all had COVID-19 symptoms.

“Now, three adults and a 5-month-old child are all having a fever of 38.8 degrees Celsius [101.8 degrees Fahrenheit],” he wrote, adding that he had made numerous calls but neither his community committee nor the local disease prevention authorities had offered to help.

“We don’t have any medicine or food at home … [our front door] has been sealed for four days. And our community committee has not sent us any supply,” he added. “I don’t want to see my child die at home. I hope people share my post so we can get some help.”

Hours after putting up his online post, Zhao told The Epoch Times how local authorities had totally ignored them.

“We asked that our child undergo a nucleic acid test but the community committee refused. My wife and I also asked to be tested but the request was turned down,” he said. “Our symptoms are just like what my mother had when she first tested positive.”

He said he suspected all of them had the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the pathogen causing the disease COVID-19.

Zhao was also critical of how his mother had been treated. He said nobody has come to move his mother to an isolation ward or send her to a medical facility for treatment.

Community officials have also refused to send them food, according to Zhao.

Changchun has been one of many areas in China hard hit by the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. In March, the city reported over 10,000 infection cases, though the actual number could be much higher, as experts and some Chinese residents have previously expressed skepticism about official Chinese figures amid the pandemic.

A spike in infection cases prompted health officials in Changchun to announce harsh lockdown measures on March 11, placing all communities under “seal-off management” and requiring businesses to suspend their operations. Additionally, all residents in the city should be tested for COVID-19.

Such mass testing is not limited to Changchun but is seen throughout China. The Chinese regime is using mass testing to go after every virus case, isolate people exposed to the virus, and lock down areas where cases are being reported, in a policy known as “zero-COVID.”

However, the policy has fueled rising discontent in China, as residents are displeased that they have to shoulder economic and psychological costs that come with such methods.

One resident in Changchun got the attention of local health officials after asking for help online.

Mrs. Sun put up a Weibo post on March 30, saying that her husband had already tested positive for COVID-19. However, local officials had not come to her home to screen other family members including herself. Now, she had COVID-19 symptoms, and so did her four children.

Sun expressed hope that everyone in her family would soon be tested for COVID-19 and receive medical treatment.

Lin Wei (a pseudonym), a relative of Sun, said local officials went to Sun’s house and tested everyone, after Sun posted her demands online, in an interview with The Epoch Times.

However, Lin said that if officials had acted more quickly, went to Sun’s house sooner, and isolated everyone, the children wouldn’t be infected.

Her husband was confirmed to have contracted the virus on March 28, according to Lin. The next day, an official went to Sun’s home but was only willing to screen two of the four children. The very same day, local authorities sealed off the front door of Sun’s home, preventing the family from going outside.

Then, Sun began calling multiple government offices seeking help, including the mayor’s office, but nobody was able to address her family’s problems, Lin said.

According to Lin, Sun, her husband, and their children remain in a dire situation—they are short on food, medicine, and they have no idea if they will ever get medical treatment.

Lin criticized officials in Sun’s community, saying that they don’t really care what will happen to Sun and her family.


Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news in China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

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