torsdag 1. desember 2022

In Tibet, Officials’ Pursuit of Zero-COVID Sent Tens of Thousands into Mass ‘Isolation’ Facilities

When COVID hit Tibet in early August, after more than 900 days without a case, the response by Tibetans on social media was generally supportive of the local government and its efforts to contain the spread of the infection. Social media postings by Tibetans within Tibet applauded the heroic dedication of the white-suited anti-epidemic workers known in Chinese as dabai (“Big Whites”), sympathized when videos showed one of them collapsing from exhaustion, and joined the nation in praying for the epidemic to end soon. 

In Shigatse, Tibet’s second-largest city, four local businesses donated 5 million renminbi (U.S.$740,000) to the COVID management effort, while a group of Tibetan monasteries contributed 3 million renminbi ($444,000) in cash and materials to show their support, as they usually do at times of national crisis. Some posts complained about the difficulty in getting vegetables in Lhasa or expressed irritation at the extraordinarily long queues that people had to join in order to get their required tests, but there were few if any signs of serious dissent.