On February 6 — two weeks into the Covid-19 crisis — news broke that the city of Dali had commandeered a shipment of face masks. The medical supplies needed for containment of the virus were being sent from the Yunnan-Myanmar bordertown of Ruili and destined for Chongqing.
Despite Chongqing issuing a request to release the masks to the city they were intended for, they could not be retrieved as they had already been handed out in Dali. This underhanded acquisition of masks has understandably caused an uproar on Chinese social media.
Today the consequences for the responsible officials were meted out — the Party chief of Dali city (Gao Zhihong) has been dismissed and the mayor of Dali (Du Shugan) as well as the deputy mayor (Lou Zenghui) were removed from their posts. The image of masked bandits springs to mind.