China’s Hubei Punishes Officials for Virus Misdeeds

Community workers receive patients who have recovered from novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuchang District of Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Min)

WUHAN (Xinhua) — China’s coronavirus-battered Hubei Province has fired or disciplined a group of officials for breaching work disciplines and shirking responsibilities in the fight against the epidemic, the provincial discipline inspection authority said Wednesday.

The announcement did not specify the number of punished officials but named and shamed several of them whose malfeasance ranges from dereliction of duty to defying quarantine rules to hold banquets.

Sheng Congfeng, a director at Wuhan’s municipal culture and tourism department, was removed from office for deserting. He was accused of visiting his home province of Anhui for holiday on Jan. 23 without prior reporting.

Zhang Xinfu, vice-principal of a primary school in Tongcheng County, was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Zhang allegedly hid the fact that he had visited the epidemic epicenter Wuhan with his wife and insisted on holding a birthday feast for his father on Jan. 22, attended by villagers and colleagues. Two days later, his wife was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus pneumonia, while Zhang refused to cooperate with an investigation.