Hard lockdown in Hebei: old man tied to a tree because he wanted to buy cigarettes
by Wang Zhicheng

The village chief is responsible for the order to tie to trees people who are reluctant to stay home. In Hebei the number of cases is down, but places of worship remain closed. Some people blame them for being the source of contagion.

Shijiazhuang (AsiaNews) – After scores of people tested positive to the novel coronavirus in rural villages and Shijiazhuang (Hebei), the authorities imposed a tight lockdown on the city to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,

On Tuesday, photos and videos of a deplorable event were posted on Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, that of an old man being tied to a tree by people in red jackets at the entrance to the village of Shuifanzhai (Shijiazhuang).

The next day, the Weibo office in Gaocheng district, near Shuifanzhai, confirmed the authenticity of the messages. It turns out that the head of the village, Yan Mou, gave orders to impose a tough lockdown with a ban on all residents from moving from home.

The old man, whose surname is Cao, wanted to go buy some cigarettes and was stopped by village security. After trying to convince him to go home, they tied him to the tree because of his stubbornness.

Village chief Yan Mou gave the order to tie people to trees. Cao also underwent a "political session" in which he was scolded, threatened and accused of lack of patriotism. Afterwards social media was flooded with criticism, and Yan Mou was suspended.

In the meantime, the authorities reported a drop in daily cases over the past two days. Nevertheless, people are still required to stay indoors, except for medical personnel, water and boiler maintenance workers, and other people involved in containing the epidemic.

Of course, all places of worship remain closed. However, aa major controversy developed recently on social media as a result of posts, backed by the government, claiming that religious gatherings are a source of infections and demanding their suppression, especially in the case of underground churches and communities.