Shan Xi floods
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Viral Week: Five Dead in Shanxi Floods and Other Trending News

Covid outbreak in Xinjiang, 120,000 displaced Shanxi flooding, hospital forces woman into unnecessary surgery—it’s Viral Week

Viral Week is our weekly round-up of the weekend’s trending memes, humor, rumor, gossip, and everything else Chinese netizens are chatting about.

Covid outbreak in Xinjiang ruins holidays for hundreds

Hundreds of tourists were trapped in airports, or spent hours in their cars queuing at toll stations, after two Covid-19 cases were discovered in Yili prefecture of Horgos city, Xinjiang, on October 3—at the beginning of China’s seven-day “Golden Week” holiday. According to China Daily, the two asymptomatic cases were found during regular nucleic acid testing. Authorities in Horgos city identified and quarantined 192 close contacts the same day.

Hospital accused of forcing girl into unnecessary surgery

Authorities in Shaanxi province have ordered Ankang Hospital, a private institution, to suspend operations after its doctors tried to perform unnecessary surgery on a 17-year-old girl. Staff brought the patient into the operating room immediately after giving her an ultrasound scan, refusing to let her call her parents—recommending instead she take out an online loan to pay for the procedure. Friends called the girl’s parents, who came to stop the surgery and take their daughter to another hospital, where they discovered she had none of the symptoms alleged by Ankang Hospital.

Flooding kills five and displaces 120,000 people in Shanxi province

For six days beginning on the evening of October 2, record-breaking rains devastated numerous parts of Shanxi province. Flooding has affected 1.75 million people, with more than 17,000 houses having collapsed, and 60 coal mines forced to close, potentially exacerbating a previously forecast winter power shortage. The provincial capital, Taiyuan, saw 203mm of rainfall in just three days. The floods are the worst since torrential rains devastated Henan province in July.

Man uses “anti-square dancing device” to stop annoying music

In a viral video on Weibo, a man from Jiangxi province uses a flashlight-shaped device to disrupt music played from a speaker used by middle-aged female square-dancers. According to tech industry news website cnBeta, the device is a high-powered remote control that can be used up to 80 meters away to control speakers or other electronic devices.

Electric vehicle owners queue four hours to charge during National Day holiday

On October 1, a woman driving from Shenzhen to Hunan province documented how she spent four hours queueing at a service station to charge her car for just one hour. The owner said she did not go to the bathroom while in the queue because she feared other drivers would cut in line. The woman’s plight sparked online debate about the development of the electric car industry and environmental protection.

County government criticized for encouraging women to stay in the countryside for marriage

The local government of Xiangyin county, Hunan province, attracted criticism from netizens after the Civil Affairs Bureau issued a plan to help rural men in the area get married, including encouraging rural women to stay in the countryside. The bureau’s announcement apparently came in response to an article by Jiang Wenlei of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences titled: “The ‘Warming Rural Single Men’s Beds Project’ is Essential” which referred to the “social issue” of the increasing difficulty faced by rural men to find a spouse.

Friend of terminal cancer patient takes him on the road trip of a lifetime

Netizens’ hearts have been warmed by the story of 54-year-old He Xiangmin, from Hunan province, driving around China with his old friend 52-year-old Liang Cheng, so that the latter can enjoy his last days while suffering from terminal cancer. He spent 25,000 RMB buying a second-hand van and modifying it so that Liang had space to lie down while He drives.

Police arrest man who photographed women with secret camera hidden in shoes

A viral video shows undercover police wrestling with and detaining a man for allegedly taking up-skirt photos of women on the Shanghai subway using a camera hidden in his shoes.

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