Workers make protective suits at a workshop in a company in Ningjin county, North China's Hebei province, Feb 12, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
Eight officials as well as five Party and administrative units in Dali, Yunnan province, were punished on Monday for the wrongful requisition of surgical masks that were meant for Chongqing and other places.
Gao Zhihong, Party secretary of the CPC Dali municipal committee, was given a severe disciplinary warning within the Party and removed from office, according to the official website of the Yunnan Discipline Inspection Committee and Supervisory Committee.
Dali mayor Du Shugan was dismissed from all Party and government posts.
Dealing with the novel coronavirus epidemic since December, almost all cities across the country are facing a shortage of prevention and control materials, such as surgical masks, protective gowns and goggles.
On Feb 2, the Dali health bureau issued a notice of emergency requisition to a logistics company that was sending 598 boxes of masks from Ruili, Yunnan, to neighboring Chongqing as the goods were crossing the area of Dali.
Chongqing, a city of 30 million people, was then facing an uphill battle to control the epidemic as it has close transport ties to Wuhan, Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.
The expropriation of Chongqing medical supplies in Dali raised heated public discussion and criticism, with experts saying it was unlawful.
Yunnan disciplinary authorities immediately launched an investigation and found that Dali's actions seriously interfered with national epidemic prevention work and discipline, and fully exposed the Dali municipal Party committee and municipal government's ignorance of political discipline and disregard of national laws at a critical moment.