Quarantine bus crash that killed 27 spurs outcry over China's 'zero COVID' policy

A nighttime bus crash that killed 27 people in southwest China this week has set off a storm of anger online over the harshness of the country's strict COVID-19

policies. The initial police report did not say who the passengers were and where they were going, but it later emerged that they were headed to a quarantine location

outside their city of Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province. The bus with 47 people on board crashed about 2:40 a.m. Sunday. City officials announced many hours later

that the passengers were under “medical observation," confirming reports that they were being taken to quarantine. Following public anger, Guiyang fired three officials in

charge of Yunyan district, where the residents had been picked up, the provincial government said Monday. Guiyang's deputy mayor apologized at a news conference, bowing and

observing a moment of silence. Online, many wondered at the logic behind transporting people outside of Guiyang, accusing the government of moving them so that the city

would no longer report any new cases. “Will this ever end? On the top searches [on social media], there are all sorts of pandemic-prevention situations every day creating

unnecessary panic and making people jittery,” one person wrote. “Is there scientific validity to hauling people to quarantine, one car after another?” Guiyang officials had

announced that the city would achieve “societal zero COVID” by Monday, one day after the crash.