Shanghai residents are pinned to the ground and arrested by dozens of hazmat suit-wearing Communist officials after objecting to their apartments becoming a quarantine centre
- Horror video shows cops violently restrain protestors fighting cruel lockdown
- Residents have fought officials’ attempts to turn homes into isolation centres
- PPE-clad police and Covid protection guards scuffle in the streets of Shanghai
- Footage posted to and deleted from Weibo shows tension amid food shortages
- Meanwhile patients kept at cramped, super-spreader centres in disused offices
- China’s largest city in extreme restrictions since late March, pursuing zero Covid
- But infections only rising with record cases of ‘lockdown-proof’ Omicron variant
PPE-clad police in Shanghai pinned down and arrested residents who objected to their homes being turned into Covid quarantine centres.
Terrifying video shared by social media users before being taken down shows scuffles in the streets today as cops forcibly restrain resistors.
Dozens of buildings in the city have been converted to makeshift isolation hubs as local officials struggle to contain record infection rates.
Cops are seen pinning down a man outside his home as they try to create a new isolation hub
That’s despite the 26million-strong city now having spent more than three weeks in the world’s toughest lockdown.
Moderators on state-censored social media site Weibo are suppressing rebellious footage. Blog What’s On Weibo saved the clips.
Another video – also taken down – shows young men and women fighting with supply distributors in the streets as food shortages continue to grip Shanghai.
The eerie clips emerged as a Shanghai Covid patient filmed the inhumane conditions in their quarantine centre.
More than 200 patients, including young children, share four toilets and no showers at the makeshift isolation hub on a vacant office floor.
After a team of officials restrain him he is carried away, the now-deleted Weibo upload shows
Clips posted on and swiftly deleted from Weibo show street clashes led by hungry protestors
Patients are forced to stay even after testing negative, a patient said – and with ‘less than a metre’ between them, reinfection is more than likely.
The alarming footage is the latest sign that all is not well in China’s major cities.
But President Xi Jinping has not commented on the clips or the now well-known ire among many Shanghainese. He dressed in cool white to visit an economic zone on the Hainan islands in the South China Sea.
Meanwhile at the isolation centre only plain bread is on offer, a woman over-60 who filmed the tight space said.
She told Reuters: ‘This centre is so crowded, everyone is less than a metre apart.
‘How is this OK?’
The woman, who would be severely punished if her identity was revealed, said she was currently negative for Covid.
After almost three weeks isolating in a hotel, she was taken to the empty office building – and expects to catch Covid again.
‘There are people here who are positive, who are coughing and running fevers – how can you mix the positive and negatives together?’, she added.
Shanghai government officials shown the shocking video claimed they weren’t even aware of the facility.
They referred Reuters to a transcript of a news conference outlining centre guidelines.
Under China’s zero-COVID policy, everyone who tests positive must quarantine at designated sites.
President Xi Jinping has insisted that China sticks to the policy, known as ‘dynamic COVID clearance’.
For Shanghai, the policy means converting schools, recently finished apartment blocks and exhibition halls into quarantine centres, the largest of which can hold 50,000 people.
Authorities said last week they had set up more than 60 facilities.
The bleak footage was recorded by an older woman staying at the cramped quarantine centre
Xi Jinping looked unusually informal during a visit to Danzhou, the South China Sea on Tuesday
But the conditions vary widely and some have drawn howls of criticism from the public.
Authorities have not provided details on the numbers of people in quarantine but the city has recorded more than 280,000 COVID infections since March – including record figures in recent days.
While state media shows hospitals with just two or three patients per room, people sent to Shanghai’s exhibition centres live side by side with thousands of others, without walls or showers, and with ceiling lights on around the clock.
Video clips on social media have shown an empty factory with camp beds installed and another site made out of shipping containers. Reuters verified the video of the factory but not of the containers.
To get out of quarantine, people have to produce two consecutive negative PCR tests.
Only two people from each apartment building are allowed to leave every day to collect food parcels.
Volunteers must wear full protective white suits and have two hours to finish the job.
Until last month, China had successfully kept the daily caseload down to double or triple digits, with harsh localised lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions.
But in early April the nationwide caseload topped 13,000 for a second day as the daily infection tally hit rates unseen since mid-February 2020.
Western diplomats expressed their concern last week over the policy of separating children from their parents, while requesting assurances that their ambassadors and diplomats would not be subject to such stringent controls.
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