A bus in the Guizhou province in China crashed in an accident on Sunday, leaving over twenty-seven people dead so far and prompting further criticism of China’s strict COVID-19 policies from many of its citizens online.

The bus, which was transporting a group of Guiyang’s allegedly COVID-positive citizens to the city’s quarantine center, derailed at around 2 a.m. at night while bearing over 47 passengers inside of the vehicle in apparent violation of a regulation preventing passenger buses from traveling between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., according to the BBC.

Although many in the online spaces of China assumed that the bus was transporting COVID-positive patients, the official stance so far by the Chinese government has been that the passengers were those “affected by Covid-19 outbreak controls,” South China Morning Post reported.

Over twenty-seven people so far have died from the accident, with over 20 others injured. Online users of the Chinese social media site Weibo have used this incident to slam China’s “Zero COVID” policy, which pushes Chinese officials towards aggressive ways of attempting to control the spread of the virus.

Guiyang, a city in the province of Guizhou, was under a snap lockdown after COVID-positive cases had popped up in the city, with Guizhou as a whole receiving over 712 new confirmed cases on Saturday. The common problems of lack of access to food and supplies that typically happens during these snap lockdowns this year happened here also.

“What will the government say to people?” one Weibo user said. “Covid didn’t kill people, instead, they were killed on the way to be quarantined. That is really ridiculous.”

After hours of the police refusing to offer an explanation to the public regarding the crash, Guizhou Communist Party secretary Shen Yiqin and Guizhou governor Li Bingjun ordered an investigation into the accident and promised swift punishment to those responsible.

“We should learn from the lessons of the accident, review the isolation and transfer of people involved in the epidemic and the potential dangers for traffic safety, and carry out rectification,” the two reportedly said.

A bus full of potentially-COVID-positive people crashed on Sunday in China, killing 27 of its occupants and putting the Chinese government in the spotlight for what is perceived as its draconian COVID policy. This is a representational image. Annie Spratt/Unsplash.

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