- 27 people were killed while 20 were injured in a bus accident in China's Guizhou province
- The accident took place on the highway section in Sandu Shui Autonomous County
- China's frequently overcrowded long-distance buses are particularly prone to fatalities
China road accident: As many as 27 people lost their lives while 20 others sustained injuries after a bus overturned on a highway in China's Guizhou province on Sunday. The bus was transporting Covid patients to a coronavirus quarantine centre.
The bus carrying 47 people was travelling on the highway section in Sandu Shui Autonomous County when the accident took place, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the county's public security bureau but there was no mention of the Covid-positive passengers. Police said that the injured are being treated and emergency responders have been dispatched to the scene.
Later reports emerged on social media that the bus was transporting contacts of Covid-positive patients from Guiyang, but the comments were soon censored, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
The accident prompted criticism online about the aggressive control measures China is using to try to contain Covid cases. “What will the government say to people?” a user of the Chinese social media Weibo akin to Twitter said. “Covid didn’t kill people, instead, they were killed on the way to be quarantined. That is really ridiculous,” the user said. “This is the biggest tragedy resulting from unscientific Covid control measures,” another Weibo user said, according to the Post report.
Wang Jie, a Guiyang official in charge of the quarantine transfers, said on Saturday that many of the thousands of people believed to have been exposed to the virus had been transferred to quarantine centres. Because of the limited capacity in the city, some of those affected were taken to centres outside Guiyang, he said in a media conference about the outbreak. As of Saturday, 7,396 people had been transferred out of town, with another 2,900 people on their way, Wang said.
Under China’s dynamic zero Covid policy, all contacts of coronavirus patients are required to go under quarantine at a government centre. Road accidents are common in China, where traffic regulations are often flouted or go unenforced. A majority of accidents occur due to violations of traffic laws. China's frequently overcrowded long-distance buses are particularly prone to fatalities.
(With inputs from AP)