On New Year’s Day in the locked-down Chinese city of Xi’an, a woman who was eight months pregnant miscarried while waiting in the freezing cold outside a hospital. She had been denied entry because her negative COVID-19 test result was invalid by a few hours.
One hand supported her belly as she leaned on the edge of a tiny pink stool outside the Xi’an Gaoxin hospital. Blood trickled down, forming a small red pool at her feet.
“Wait”—was the one-word reply from hospital officials when asked by a staff member about the woman, according to Chinese media reports.
The woman was kept waiting for two hours, and when the hospital eventually relented and admitted her to emergency care, it was too late. The woman had lost her baby.
Her ordeal, footage of which was posted on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, ignited an outpouring of anger and anguish from Xi’an, the city that has confined all of its residents to their homes since Dec. 23 as it grapples with rising COVID-19 cases.
Over the past two weeks, exasperated residents have flooded Chinese social media feeds with pleas for food and basic supplies, triggering public outrage and broadening doubts about the sustainability of the Chinese regime’s two-year-long playbook of tolerating no virus cases no matter the cost, known as “zero-COVID.”