A Fugitive Evaded Police for 3 Years, But He Couldn’t Evade China’s COVID-19 Tracking Rules

A Chinese man sought by the police for three years turned himself in after being unable to withstand the restrictions on life amid the government’s COVID-19 curbs.

A 42-year-old man gave himself up to the local police in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on Dec. 24 after he suffered severe travel restrictions because he didn’t have a health code, according to a report posted on Hangzhou police’s WeChat account Tuesday. According to the report, the man was involved with racketeering and fled from police in 2018.

The report stated that the man was kept in a hideout and suffered increased stress levels, as well as deteriorating mental health. He is currently in criminal detention.
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China set up a COVID contact tracer system in China during the outbreak. China continues to take strict measures to control the virus, such as traffic control, mass testing, lockdowns and traffic control. A data-based “health code” system installed on residents’ mobile phones shows whether someone is at risk of being infected, thus cannot travel across regions or enter public areas.

Local authorities in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, where Hangzhou is located, and neighboring Shanghai tightened COVID prevention rules after a COVID resurgence hit the area in November.

This isn’t the first time China’s COVID-control measures brought in a fugitive.

The Hangzhou Police received a report from China News Service on May 5, 2020 that a 48-year old man, hailing from Gansu in the west, had reported to them. He claimed restrictions were placed on him without an ID card or health code and that he was restricted in his activities. According to the report, the suspect had fled police twenty-four years before for homicide suspicions.


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