Chinese authorities said on Thursday that they have punished officials after footage went viral of an eight-month pregnant woman miscarrying in the locked-down city of Xi’an when a hospital refused her entry without a Covid test.

The city of 13 million has been under strict home confinement for two weeks to stamp out an outbreak, in line with Beijing’s strict “zero Covid” strategy.

The distressing incident was detailed in a social media post by the woman’s niece on January 1, which included photos and video of the woman sitting on a plastic stool outside the hospital surrounded by a pool of blood.

The post was later removed but not before it got hundreds of millions of views and sparked widespread anger online about the hardships faced by Xi’an residents.

The city government said in a statement Thursday the incident at Xi’an Gaoxin Hospital had aroused “widespread concern and caused a bad social impact” and the local health bureau was investigating.

The hospital’s general manager was suspended and “responsible persons” at the outpatient department were removed from their posts, it said.

The hospital was also told to “apologise to the public”.