"Violation of corona discipline": chief health chief in Beijing fired

The Chinese government is very nervous.

"Violation of corona discipline": chief health chief in Beijing fired

The Chinese government is very nervous. The number of new infections in Beijing seems low, but because of 26 corona infections, buses bring 13,000 people to quarantine centers overnight. Disciplinary proceedings are now awaiting the head of the health authorities.

In Beijing, the chief health official has been fired. The state news agency Xinhua reported that the head of the Chinese capital's health commission, Yu Luming, had to vacate his post. Yu is suspected of "serious violations of discipline and the law" and must therefore undergo a "disciplinary investigation," Xinhua reported, without giving details of the specific allegations.

Hundreds of people in Beijing have been infected with the omicron variant of the corona virus since the end of April. Despite negative corona tests, more than 13,000 residents of the Nanxinyuan settlement in the southeast of the Chinese capital had to leave their homes on Friday night. They were therefore driven to quarantine centers in buses. The reason for the measure was therefore 26 new infections found. In Beijing, many parks, restaurants, schools and shops are closed, local public transport is severely restricted and millions of people are required to work from home. Public life is also severely restricted in other Chinese cities.

China had relied on rigorous measures from the beginning of the pandemic and was thus able to keep the number of infections at a relatively low level by international comparison for a long time. With the advent of the omicron variant, however, there were large outbreaks. The center was initially Shanghai, after which the city with its 25 million inhabitants was strictly sealed off for several weeks at the beginning of April.

The restrictions imposed by the zero Covid strategy are now slowing down the second largest economy much more than expected. Industrial production surprisingly fell by 2.9 percent in April compared to the same month last year, as the statistics office in Beijing reported earlier this week. Retail sales also fell more sharply than predicted, by as much as 11.1 percent. Despite the poor economic data, the spokesman for the statistics office, Fu Linghui, tried to convey optimism to the press in Beijing: "The Covid outbreak in April had a major impact on the economy, but the consequences will be short-term."