Hainan province has punished six officials for “inaction and lack of responsibility when handling the recent local COVID-19 outbreak,” Global Times reports.
Two local officials, Wu Tingli and Wu Tinggang from Danzhou City have been sentenced to five days of administrative detention for playing poker and gambling when on duty.
It was also reported that the two had physical conflicts with local residents.
Lin Hui, deputy head of the health commission of Jiyang district in Sanya was punished after a telephone operator purposefully engaged the line on a mental health advice hotline for 90 minutes.
The operator was dismissed from their position.
Three more officials were punished after they started work late and left early when they were supposed to be handling the COVID-19 outbreak.
Hainan is currently China’s worst affected region in terms of COVID-19 cases.
Since August 1, the province has registered almost 9,000 infections.
Many parts of the province are currently under ‘static management;’ restrictions are placed on people going out and public transport systems have been shut down.
Global Times has reported that static management will remain in place for fishing ports and related businesses until at least August 22.
When the outbreak was first reported, rumors circulated that the virus was brought in by fishermen illegally selling products at sea to Vietnamese buyers, who thus infected the Chinese sellers.
Strict measures have therefore been placed on fishing operations in the local area.
Fishing vessels are no longer allowed to journey out to sea unless they have permission from authorities.
Yesterday (Monday, August 15) China reported 530 COVID-19 cases, 426 of which were in Hainan province, reports Xinhua.
China is still implementing its ‘zero-COVID’ policy, which aims to eliminate the spread of the virus rather than ‘living with it.’
[Cover image via Wikimedia]