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Grandpa Picks up the Wrong Kid from School, Takes Him to Get Flu Vaccine

Even grandpa makes mistakes!

Manya Koetse

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The parents of a 6-year-old boy in Guiyang, Guizhou province, had the shock of their lives when they discovered their son Xiao Hongyu had been picked up from school by an elderly man on Friday afternoon.

The parents were told by their son’s school teacher that their son had been picked up by his alleged ‘grandfather.’ School security footage showed how an unknown grey-haired man had stepped inside the classroom on June 8, and took the boy outside with him.

Soon after, the desperate mother posted the security footage images on her WeChat ‘Moments’ account, asking people for help – fearing that her child had become the target of a child trafficker.

When one person, an old classmate of the mother, recognized her own father in the images, the case was soon solved; the older man was supposed to pick his grandson Xiao Hongrui up from school, but instead took Xiao Hongyu with him.

Xiao Hongyu had been ‘missing’ for a total of four hours, a time during which his temporary ‘grandfather’ had taken him along for food shopping, and even took the little boy to the hospital to get a flu vaccine.

During an interview at the local police office, the man’s son-in-law told reporters that grandpa had just come to visit from the countryside, and was not too familiar with his own grandson’s appearance. The fact that Xiao Hongyu and Xiao Hongrui look alike and have a similar voice, as well as name, also did not help, and the man mistakingly took the wrong kid home.

Meanwhile, the man’s real grandson, Xiao Hongrui, remained at school, waiting to be picked up.

According to various Chinese media reports, Xiao Hongyu did feel the situation was not right, and tried to tell the older man that he was not his grandson. But because the man suffers from hearing impairment, he did not hear the little boy’s questions and remarks.

The school teacher in charge told reporters that the unfortunate mistake also occurred because Xiao Hongyu told his teacher that the man was “grandpa” when they asked him who the man was.

Xiao Hongyu and his mum.

The topic became top trending on Sina Weibo on June 12. “In the eyes of a 6-year-old, every old man is a ‘grandpa,'” many people commented.

Although the majority of people find the situation humorous, there are also many netizens who feel the issue is no laughing matter, because it means abductors and child traffickers can easily pick a child up from school.

They blame the school for not checking the man’s status, the hospital for not checking the little boy’s identity, and the parents for not teaching their boy not to leave with strangers.

This is not the first time a story such as this makes headlines. In 2016, an American grandfather also took the wrong child home. In that case, the child, just like Xiao Hongyu, also confirmed to teachers that the man was his grandfather.

In the UK, in 2013, a grandfather also took the wrong child to a doctor’s appointment. The little girl’s mother later told reporters that it is “every parent’s worst nightmare.”

By Manya Koetse


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©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Local News

Sudden Ground Collapse at Metro Station in Xiamen

A sudden collapse occurred near Xiamen’s Lucuo station, just two weeks after a similar incident took place in Guangzhou.

Manya Koetse

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In the evening of December 12, Xiamen’s Lvcuo (Lǚcuò 吕厝) metro station became a breaking news topic in Chinese media after a ground collapse incident occurred at a nearby intersection, followed by a major flood in the Xiamen subway.

Xiamen, Fujian Province, is one of China’s major coastal cities. According to Xiamen Metro News, the collapse happened at 21:52 local time.

At time of writing, rescue teams are still investigating the scene. It is unclear if people have been trapped or injured due to the collapse.

An apparent dashcam video shared by Sina News and People’s Daily on Weibo shows the moment right before the sudden collapse.

The video captures how the road is relatively busy at the time of collapsing, and at least one car can be seen crashing into the sinkhole.

Other footage shows that the Xiamen metro line is currently flooded (also see video in this tweet).

The scene of the collapse at 0:10 local time.

The metro station where this incident occurred is relatively new. Xiamen’s metro line was first opened in late December 2017.

Just two weeks ago, another major ground collapse accident occurred at the construction site of a metro line in Guangzhou. Three people remain missing after the incident.

On Thursday night local time, the Xiamen metro collapse was the number one trending topic on social media platform Weibo. Many netizens commenting on the incident express worries about the safety of roads and construction sites in China.

Update (Dec 13): According to the latest Chinese media reports, the drivers of two cars who were at the scene at the moment of the ground collapse have both been recused. One female pedestrian who also fell into the sinkhole is receiving medical treatment..

By Manya Koetse
Follow @whatsonweibo

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China Health & Science

No Need for Plague Panic? China’s Trending Plague Outbreak

After the Year of the Pig brought swine flue, some fear the Year of the Rat will bring the ‘rat plague.’

Manya Koetse

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For the past nine days, during which three cases of the plague have been reported in China, the deadly bubonic plague has become a hot topic on Chinese social media.

The topic first made headlines on November 12, when Chinese state media announced that two people, a husband and wife from Inner Mongolia, were transported to Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital for treatment after being diagnosed with the pneumonic plague.

The couple reportedly got sick after eating raw marmot kidney.

A 55-year old hunter from the same region, the Inner Mongolian Xilingol League, was later also diagnosed with bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit meat.

The bubonic plague, also called the ‘Black Death,’ is an infectious disease that is known to have caused one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, killing millions of people in 14th century Europe.

News of the three cases of bubonic plague reminded many of the 2003 SARS panic; an outbreak of SARS in southern China caused over 8000 cases that year.

The World Health Organisation criticized China at the time for covering up the scale of the problem, with officials conceding in the Spring of 2003 that China’s SARs problem was “nearly 10 times worse than had been admitted.”

Current online reports on the bubonic plague in China stress that there is no reason for panic, with a hospital spokesperson confirming that the situation is “under control.”

42 people who are known to have come into contact with the Chinese patients have all been quarantined and were not found to have any symptoms of catching the disease.

Chinese (state) media channels are spreading social media posts this week that mainly emphasize that the plague “can be prevented, controlled, and managed,” and that it can be effectively treated.

“Don’t panic over plague outbreak,” Sina News headlines, with People’s Daily posting on Weibo that, according to the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “there is no need to worry.”

The bubonic plague primarily affects rodents and other animals, with animals – and incidentally humans – usually contracting the infection through insects such as (rat) fleas. This form of plague is highly contagious – can spread through coughing – and could be fatal within days if left untreated (Benedict 1996, 4).

Mammals such as rabbits or marmots, as eaten by the recent Chinese patients, but also rats, squirrels, gerbils, mice, etc., can all harbor the disease.

Although the disease is increasingly rare, and for many is something from the history books, there were still 3248 cases worldwide between 2010 and 2015, leading to 584 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Although Chinese media stress that there is no need to panic over the recent outbreak of the bubonic plague, many netizens still fear an epidemic, making comments such as: “The Year of the Pig brought the [African] swine fever, now the plague is starting just before the Year of the Rat!” (The word for ‘plague’ in Chinese is 鼠疫 shǔyì, literally meaning ‘rat plague’ or ‘mouse plague’).

Others are asking questions such as: “Do we risk the plague more if we have mice in the house?” and “How can we prevent getting it?”

Meanwhile, according to Jiemian News reports, the area in Inner Mongolia where the patients originally contracted the illness is currently under strict control by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture; some roads are closed off, and there’s temperature screening for those taking public transport.

The area has seen four cases of plague over the past decades, the most recent one before this month being in 2004.

Last news on the current three patients was from last Saturday, when it was reported that at least one of the patients is now in stable condition.

By Manya Koetse
Follow @whatsonweibo

References

Benedict, Carol Ann. 1996. Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth Plague in Nineteenth Century China. Stanford University Press.

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