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Global Times

20 officials in Guangzhou punished for slack response to COVID-19 outbreak in May; Chinese discipline watchdog urges strict inspection

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Aug 12, 2021 01:31 PM

Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, on Thursday announced punishments for 20 officials for their neglect of duty in dealing with the local COVID-19 outbreak in May and June, including the firing of director of the city health commission and district-level Party chief.

Guangzhou's announcement came after China's national discipline watchdog, the Party Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, issued a statement on Thursday urging a strict inspection and punishment for dereliction of duty of officials in the country's anti-epidemic work.

Among the 20 officials punished, 11 were removed or dismissed from their posts, including Huang Guanglie, director of the Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission; Chen Xiaohua and Bi Ruiming, the Party chief and the deputy Party chief, respectively, of Guangzhou's Liwan District where the epidemic first started in May; and Zou Jianzeng, Party chief of Liwan Central Hospital.

The other nine people were also given warnings, an executive record a serious demerit or faced an adjustment of their posts.

Prior to Guangzhou's action, more than 40 officials in multiple places, such as East China's Jiangsu and Shandong provinces and Central China's Henan and Hunan provinces, had already been punished for slack response and ineffective management in local anti-epidemic work.

The national discipline watchdog urged discipline inspection organs at all levels across the country to strictly punish those public post holders who fail to fulfill epidemic prevention and control.

In particular, Jiangsu Province, home to Nanjing and Yangzhou -- the two hardest-hit cities in China's latest outbreak -- issued a special inspection plan in the local anti-epidemic work.

The inspection will mainly focus on whether the quarantine measures in key regions are being followed, if there are significant omissions in nucleic acid testing or false reporting of test results, if the protection of high-risk groups is ensured and if Party members or officials fail to perform their duty and shirk their responsibility.

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