China’s Locked Down City Thrown Into Chaos After Covid App Crash

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: China’s Covid-19 health code system that strictly governs people’s movements crashed in Xi’an this week, worsening conditions in the locked-down city where the country’s worst outbreak since Wuhan has been unfolding. The crash has complicated efforts to weed out cases through mass testing, created hurdles for people seeking care at hospitals and led to the suspension of a top official, the latest among a slew of bureaucrats to be punished as Beijing fumes over the situation.

Liu Jun, head of Xi’an’s big-data bureau, was temporarily dismissed over performance failures, the municipal Communist Party Committee said in a statement. While the committee didn’t explicitly lay out the reason behind its decision, it came after Xi’an’s health code system — which is under Liu’s purview and tracks individuals’ movements and vaccination status — broke down on Tuesday. The system crash meant that locals were unable to access their Covid infection status after Xi’an embarked on a new widespread round of nucleic acid tests, according to a media report. The provincial government said in a statement later that the system was temporarily paralyzed due to overwhelming traffic, and being fixed. It had also experienced technical issues in December.
A pregnant women in Xi’an reportedly lost her baby after being refused entry to a hospital because she “couldn’t show she was infection-free via the health code app,” reports Bloomberg.

“A video posted Tuesday showing what appeared to be a woman bleeding on the sidewalk outside a hospital in Xi’an’s Gaoxin district was trending on Weibo. Similar complaints and criticisms were seen elsewhere on Chinese social media as patients failed to get timely treatment at hospitals already overwhelmed by the virus.”

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