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A Chinese City’s Penalty Is a 10-Day Detention for Skipping Multiple PCR Tests

On May 31, the city government of Siping in China’s northeastern Jilin Province announced it would launch massive Covid-19 PCR testing for residents starting on June 2. The testing requires that “no one is left behind.” The authorities vowed to inflict punishment on anyone who did not participate in the drive. Punitive measures would include restricting access to neighborhoods and public places, paying for the cost of make-up tests, and being admonished by local police. For those who failed to take the required tests on more than two occasions, the penalty would include 10-days of administratively detention, a fine of 500 yuan (US$ 75), being blacklisted in China’s social credit system, and public naming and shaming.

The announcement sparked criticism from Chinese netizens. Some said, “The Siping municipal government is openly breaking the law.” Others questioned, “Which law is the basis for such a detention rule? This is serious damage to the rule of law in China!”

Draconian measures to combat the epidemic adopted by Chinese authorities have triggered public discontent. For example, in Jiangsu, medical staff would throw away all the food in the refrigerator that belonged to the Covid patient. In Shanghai a netizen complained saying that the disinfection personnel entered his residence without his consent.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), May 31, 2022