15 officials in Nanjing punished for failing to contain latest COVID-19 outbreak
Published: Aug 07, 2021 06:34 PM
Nanjing Photo:VCG

Nanjing Photo:VCG

A total of 15 officials in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, including a vice mayor and the head of the local health commission, were punished on Saturday for failing to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport that has spread to many places across the country.

After an investigation into the ineffective epidemic prevention and control at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport, the Jiangsu provincial Party discipline watchdog announced disciplinary actions against six senior officials.

Also on Saturday, following in the footsteps of the provincial Party discipline watchdog, Nanjing Party authorities disciplined nine local officials for ineffective epidemic prevention and control work at the airport.

Among the officials punished by the Jiangsu Disciplinary Inspection Commission was Hu Wanjin, a vice mayor of Nanjing, who was given an administrative demerit for ineffective performance in his management and supervisory responsibilities for epidemic prevention and control.

Fang Zhongyou, Party chief of the Nanjing Health Commission was removed from his post for poor performance and was given a serious intra-Party warning. 

In terms of seriousness, Wang Chao, deputy general manager of Eastern Airports Group who leads the foreign-related epidemic prevention and control work at the airport, was put under investigation and detention for his suspected neglect of duties that has caused "heavy losses and extremely bad influence." 

Yin Yunwen, director of the firm's emergency response department, also received similar punishments as Wang, while Xu Yongjie, director of the firm's ground services department, was put under investigation. 

Yan Yingjun, former deputy Party chief of Nanjing's Jiangning district received a serious intra-Party warning and was demoted, according to the Jiangsu Disciplinary Inspection Commission.

The nine officials punished by Nanjing Party authorities include Yang Dasuo, deputy director of the city's health commission and Jiang Mengmang, deputy head of the city's public security bureau, who received various penalties, including intra-Party warnings.

While the disciplinary actions were applauded by many on Chinese social media on Saturday, some also suggested that the actions weren't swift and severe enough - underscoring the Chinese's public's cherishing of the hard-fought results of the country's battle against the pandemic and zero tolerance for neglect of duties, observers said.

More officials could be punished, as both Jiangsu provincial and Nanjing city officials said on Saturday that other people who are responsible were still under investigation.     

The Nanjing Lukou International Airport is considered to be the transmission source of the recent outbreaks of the Delta variant, which has spread to over 20 cities across the country.

Since the first confirmed case of the outbreak was detected on July 20 at the airport, airports and customs nationwide have implemented stricter measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In a latest instance, the Beijing Daxing International Airport announced on Saturday that it will suspend flight routes from 15 cities, including Nanjing, Yangzhou and Zhangjiajie.