How China uses zero-Covid policy to crack down on Tibetans

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There has been a widespread outcry from the residents of Lhasa, the capital of the Chinese autonomous region of Tibet, about how local authorities are managing a Covid-19 lockdown, instated on August 9. Many people have gone online to post videos showing crowded quarantine centres, which they have nicknamed pigsties. When the videos were quickly censored, locals said it was another example of the Chinese government silencing Tibetan voices.

More and more videos have been appearing online showing Tibet’s overcrowded quarantine centres where people are forced to sleep on the floor, wait in long queues in the cold, and are given rotten food.

Authorities put in place a lockdown on August 9 in Lhasa as well as two other Tibetan districts after 22 cases of Covid-19 were detected. As part of their “zero-Covid” policy, Chinese authorities immediately began a strict protocol – subjecting every citizen to a PCR test and placing anyone positive in a quarantine centre.

Across China, many videos have emerged showing abuses taking place during the enforcement of this policy. However, in Tibet, lockdown and quarantine conditions seem particularly harsh.

>> Read more on The Observers: Daily PCR tests in China’s Shenzhen as zero-Covid policy continues

People with or without Covid are being put inside quarantine centres, which is why a lot of people who did not initially have Covid were infected.

The centres are basically old buildings that are unpainted and under construction. People are served stale and spoilt food which only adds to the problem.


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