Lhasa, Tibet, has a total population of 800,000, and the actual positive cases are 200,000. A quarter of Lhasa people are in square cabins, rough houses, mixed housing for men and women, and cross-infection of negative and positive.
China’s anti-pandemic story has not yet come to an end like the WHO director made in a recent statement. Mainland Chinese continue to spread the truth online, and authorities eventually stopped to silence the voice of their people.
The lockdown of Lhasa for more than a month has led to escalated humanitarian disasters.
In the video posted on September 16, a netizen who claimed to be an eyewitness said, “At night, the bus kept pulling people to these camps, and it never stopped. There are dozens of buses every night, and the number of people in a bus is more than 100 or even over 200, while Lhasa authorities report only over 100 positives daily.”
In the man’s words, the community’s phone will never be answered or someone will be hung up if it is connected. Authorities make superficial efforts.
The cameraman said, “The old gentleman with white hair who doesn’t understand Chinese is holding a child in his infancy, his eyes are full of fear and helplessness. A blind uncle and the old gentleman in a wheelchair are at a loss. They are eating an almost rancid isolation meal made from a garbage dump, while Huada is eating a blood cake to ‘celebrate’ nucleic acid testing breaking one million. No one knows all this except in the Sichuan-Tibet region.”
A Tibetan in the central district of Lhasa city confirmed to an RFA reporter that the pandemic is serious. He also confirmed that the official news is now false, and the real situation is basically blocked, and the people have no way to know the truth.
Let’s take a look at the street in the video, there are no cars or people on the empty road in Lhasa. Netizens commented, “Lhasa, Tibet, has become a ghost town.”
Many Lhasa residents were trapped in the square quarantine cabins. In a huge room, the floor was covered with hundreds of mattresses almost next to each other with little spacing.
Netizens left lots of comments:
Yirec: “It seems that they just want to put people under control, and don’t care about the cross-infection.” ;
Simple Tibetan: “I am in Lhasa now, and it has been almost 40 days since the city was closed. Buses are used to pull people to the square cabin every night, and the real situation cannot be posted on the Internet at all. Many videos and posts have been deleted, and there have been several incidents of jumping off buildings in recent days. Those with sudden illnesses will not be treated in the hospital at all. I hope you outside the wall can help pay more attention to the development of the epidemic in Tibet! Pay attention to the suffering of compatriots! Thank you very much.”
Jie Zhen Li: “Of course, the political “epidemic” is not afraid of gathering in groups. We will talk about it after the closure of the prosecution cabin to maintain stability and transition to the 20th National Congress.”
According to local Tibetan news, due to 38 days of lockdown and harsh environment, elderly Tibetan who came to Lhasa for medical treatment could not be treated and died in a rented room. The landlord had also appealed several times, hoping that an officer could help or transfer him to a medical facility, but to no avail.
Min, a food delivery worker in the city, told The New York Times, “The social media posts you see from people in Lhasa are all about suffering, but that’s the real Lhasa. Lhasa’s public announcements, I feel they’re all fake.”
Min said even though he had not tested positive, he was forced to be isolated with his five family members in an unfinished apartment building. He said he could be released if his latest test, on September 10, also came back negative – but it has been days without results.
Min added that during the waiting time, officials sent another man to join their family in isolation because they are all from the Hui ethnic group. But that man had a positive test. Min said all he could do was put on two masks and try to keep his distance.
And it doesn’t stop there, there were poor conditions at the isolation centers and the shortage of food and necessities were commonplace.
Wen Yan, said to The New York Times that, though test results were negative, she, her boyfriend, and four roommates were ordered into centralized quarantine on Monday. They boarded an ambulance around 4 p.m. but were not dropped off at the so-called “isolation center” until after 7. The bathroom was flooded in their isolated apartment.
They weren’t given any food because they arrived too late according to the workers. Around midnight, her boyfriend and another man confronted some workers for food. They were beaten.
Wen got thousands of shares when she posted photos on Weibo. However, an official at her quarantine facility asked her to delete them the next day. She told The New York Times, “If these posts don’t exist, then no one cares. I won’t delete them because they’re all true.”
Last week, the government announced that the entire country, even areas without cases, would need to make regular testing mandatory for all residents through October.
On September 15, locals began to launch an online campaign, “Let the truth about the epidemic in Tibet turn over Tanggula Mountain,” to draw attention and support from the outside world. Some have tagged state media outlets; others tagged an unrelated topic, such as an actor accused of hiring prostitutes.
However, their efforts seem hopeless under the control of the authorities. According to The New York Times, platforms such as Douyin or Weibo have deleted dozens of videos exposing the plight of the people. Some were even detained by local authorities.
Like many places on the mainland, even though the quarantine conditions are harsh, official employees still enjoy good accommodations. A waiter at a high-end hotel told an RFA reporter that the hotel had been officially rented for more than a month, and most hotels are now the same.
RFA reporters trying to communicate with more isolated communities quickly encountered resistance. There’s always a voice prompt that the other party has no right to answer, whether a local business or a private call. Officials also silently refused to answer any calls.