'Propaganda machinery is actively covering up the situation': Tibetan govt in exile blasts China over COVID outbreak

Shreyoshi Guha
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New Delhi: The Tibetan government in Exile has blasted China for mismanaging the Covid outbreak in Tibet, saying the Chinese ‘propaganda machinery is actively covering up the situation’ there.  

It says residents of Lhasa have compared the current situation there to the worst days of Shanghai when a two-month-long lockdown was enforced there.

It also alleged that the mishandling of situation could be linked to the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, slated for next month,  where Xi Jinping is going to seek third term as president. He is the driving force behind what is called a zero-Covid policy and it might used by Xi Jinping to suppress dissent during the congress. 

According to the Central Tibet Administration, China first reported a Covid outbreak in Tibet on August 8 this year by acknowledging 22 cases. This was first Chinese admission of Covid in Tibet since 2020 when it announced the zero-Covid policy for the region. 

Within weeks over 3600 people were found positive indicating that the situation was worsening. China enforced strict lockdowns in Lhasa and surrounding areas. 

As of now over 53000 people are in isolation centres.   

There have been numerous complaints about overcrowded quarantine facilities, food scarcity and lack of medical supplies and unhygienic living conditions. Tibetans have posted on internet videos revealing true situation of these quarantine facilities, exposing the Chinese propaganda that there are no ‘shortcomings’ in implementation of its zero-Covid policy. 

The complaints of Tibetans were vindicated when the Deputy Executive Mayor of Lhasa in a media briefing apologised to public for mishandling the situation. 

The Central Tibetan Administration has demanded immediately steps from the Chinese government to improve situation in Tibet.