Shanghai authorities are installing barriers and fences around people’s homes to prevent them from leaving and going out in public.
Nationwide, China reported 20,285 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases for Saturday, versus 21,423 a day earlier, with 1,580 symptomatic cases, versus 2,988 in their latest outbreak believed to be the omicron variant, which has reportedly surged in Shanghai.
At least 25 million people are under an indefinite lockdown due to COVID-19 mitigation measures at the time of this reporting. The district announced that everyone living or working within the area has to take a minimum of three Covid tests this week while putting more than a dozen buildings on lockdown in Chaoyang after an entire 22 new cases were reported on Saturday. This announcement set off panic buying on Sunday with grocery stores quickly being emptied.
Reuters reported that the residents of Shanghai are furious with the newest move to barricade them in their homes.
Photos coming out of Shanghai show workers in white hazmat suits closing off entire streets with approximately two-meter tall fencing.
“This is so disrespectful of the rights of the people inside, using metal barriers to enclose them like domestic animals,” said one user on the social media platform Weibo.
One video showed residents shouting from balconies at workers trying to set up fencing. The workers relented and took it away. Other videos showed people trying to pull fences down.
“Isn’t this a fire hazard?” asked another Weibo user.
This round of lockdowns in Shanghai, which has lasted for over three weeks for some, has fuelled frustrations over lost wages, family separation, and quarantine conditions as well as access to medical care and food.
These so-called “sealed areas” are buildings and locations where at least one person has tested positive for Covid, resulting in everyone in the building also being locked down.
China took a very strict zero-Covid stance this round of the disease and saw some seriously horrific images and videos coming from the country ranging from people screaming and crying from hunger on their balconies to culling Covid positive citizens’ cats and dogs.