Authorities in China’s contentious Xinjiang region have apologized for shortages of food and medicine in areas that have been locked down for a month to contain a COVID-19 outbreak.

Reports of shortages and tough conditions in Yili, a part of of northern Xinjiang bordering Kazakhstan, have been swirling on Chinese social media for days, with some claiming posts on the situation were being censored. Officials admitted Friday that there had been issues, with Liu Qinghua, deputy governor of the affected area, saying the lockdown had prevented some from accessing hospital treatment, and that there had been problems distributing food.

Liu said the local government apologized "deeply for the impact and inconvenience brought by COVID-19 control measures to people’s lives” and vowed to rectify the situation, according to a video recording of the briefing.