A man was sentenced to death by a Chinese court for fatally stabbing two officials at a checkpoint. As per reports, the checkpoint was set up to control the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The sentence was handed down by the court on March 1 to the 23-year-old man.
According to reports, the incident occurred on February 6 when Ma Jianguo was driving a minivan through a checkpoint at Luo Meng village in Honghe, southwestern Yunnan province. After being stopped at the checkpoint, Ma was reportedly uncooperative with the checkpoint officials.
During the incident, Ma's fellow passengers began to remove the blockade according to the court. Ma then stabbed the official, a poverty alleviation cadre in the chest and in the abdomen with a knife he was carrying. Ma then stabbed another official when he came to the first victim's aid. Both the officials died from their wounds. As per reports, the court claimed that while Ma had voluntarily surrendered and truthfully confessed to the stabbing, but the crime was extremely vicious.
The deadly virus that first emerged in China in December last year has spread to more than 70 countries and has infected more than 88,000 people, including over 80,000 in China. China's National Health Commission (NHC) received reports of 202 new cases on March 1. Around 42 deaths were also reported on March 1 in the virus-hit Hubei Province and its capital Wuhan.
NASA recently released aerial images of Earth which showed a drastic decline in pollution levels over northern China in the past month. The aerial images which were released by NASA along with European Space Agency (ESA) on the former’s website compare the concentration of nitrogen dioxide across China between January 1-20 i.e. period before quarantine and February 10-25 i.e during the quarantine with results showing the drastic difference.
According to media reports, Nitrogen Dioxide levels typically surge in February as factories reopen and more vehicle take over the roads after the Chinese Lunar year. Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in public statement, said that it was the first time that she had seen such a “dramatic drop-off” in NO2. According to NASA, a similar case was observed during the 2008 recession but the decline was gradual. Another case was observed around Beijing during the 2008 Olympics but effects were localised around the Chinese capital.