*Note: fight OR battle OR competition → pick one for the whole article
An announcement to launch a “big fight” (大比武 ) on nucleic acid testing in Linshu County, Linyi City, Shandong Province, on Aug. 9 led to heated discussions. Many netizens criticized it, and authorities deleted it.
The official WeChat account of the Linshu County Health Department on Aug. 9 published “an announcement about the implementation of the ‘Big Fight’ for Nucleic Acid testing for all people in the district.”
On the morning of Aug. 10, Linyi City and the Headquarters of Disease Prevention and Control of Linshu County and Luozhuang County, Shandong Province, confirmed the “Big Fight” news with a reporter from Guancha.
According to Caixin, the announcement states that nucleic acid testing will be carried out for all residents in the district on the morning of Aug. 10 to better prevent and control the epidemic. In addition, authorities will randomly select a residential area and a village as intermediate risk areas for the PCR or nucleic acid testing, “competition,” and “the whole line, the whole process, and all the elements of a test procedure will be rehearsed.” In short, this is a large-scale PCR test practice.
The notice indicated that the public needs to cooperate in the entire process, from closing the site control to disinfecting the environment to gathering (people) in the PCR testing area.
The notice also requires that during the “Big Fight” period, illegal dissemination of the venue is not allowed, and photos and videos of the sites are not to be uploaded to social networking platforms such as WeChat and Weibo to avoid a negative impact on society. Furthermore, “Those who maliciously spread false pictures, false videos and spread rumors will be investigated for relevant legal responsibilities under the law.”
According to Sound of Hope, the so-called “Big Fight” is a rehearsal judging from the announcement. Its purpose is to roughly test the ability for local mobilization and organization of nucleic acid tests and testing, such as the completeness of the support facilities and the test area.
However, authorities called this a big fight, and netizens felt very uncomfortable. Ridicule and sarcasm filled the comment area. Sound of hope quoted some comments as follows:
“The big fight!? Want to choose a nucleic acid martial arts master?”
“It’s better to participate in the Olympic event.”
Another joked: “The nucleic acid competition is to separate the highs and lows between the outsiders and the insiders. External users use cotton swabs like a gun, focusing on fast, accurate, and ruthless (ones). Those who practice the internal exercises will see if there are calluses in their throats, and those with calluses can enter the ring to participate in the competition.”
A netizen said: “Next time, the whole district will hold a silent competition, without preparation and without materials. Whoever survives to the end is the winner.”
“It is recommended to organize a national competition on nucleic acids.”
Some bloggers said, “The National Sports Festival can add a new main category which is nucleic acid testing, can participate in competitions, like fencing, first poke the mouth of the opponent with a cotton swab to score. If the first person to poke got the yellow code, you continue to play, the other person to poke got the blue code is still able to play, and if the first person to poke the red code three times in a row, you will be out of the game. …. Can be divided into categories such as long cotton swabs, short cotton swabs, moving targets … can also be divided into men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles. Using the nucleic acid industry to promote the sports industry, the health and sports industries of the entire population will advance together!”
However, according to Vision Times, because the activity caused great controversy, authorities removed the public WeChat accounts of “Linshu News” of Linshu County Media Center and “Linshu Medical” of the Linshu County Health and Health Bureau regarding the announcement of the “big fight.”