Shanghai residents are so frustrated with the recent COVID lockdown that they are screaming from their apartment block windows, according to multiple videos now going viral on social media.
China’s largest city has been under a draconian lockdown since April 5, when Beijing ordered a full shutdown as part of its “zero-COVID” policy.
The city’s 25 million residents have had to undergo six COVID-19 tests since April 3 and are restricted from leaving their homes — even to eat. The government has eliminated rations and people are using delivery services, although even those services are limited due to the restrictions.
Those who have tested positive – including children – are being forcibly taken to quarantine hospitals, but those who have tested negative are still not allowed to leave their homes. Viral videos show people in physical altercations with security guards, screaming that they are out of food.
Videos of desperate people screaming from their high-rise apartments were followed by even more sinister clips of a drone hovering overhead, emitting a robotic voice telling residents: “Please comply with COVID restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Don’t open the window and don’t sing.”
Rebecca Kanthor, a journalist in Shanghai, told NPR that some people only knew hours before the lockdown began and didn’t have time to buy food supplies. “People are very frustrated,” she said. “Not everyone goes out and yells and publicly gets upset in that way, but people are definitely on social media … and definitely expressing their frustration because Shanghai is a really big city, it has a reputation, a very progressive one.” being a city, and up until now nobody really thought Shanghai would lock down like that.”
On Sunday, 24,944 new infections were registered, 1,006 of them symptomatic. “The tidal wave has not yet peaked, and there are concerns that the citywide lockdown will continue for several more weeks, which could cripple the local economy,” said Wang Feng, chairman of Shanghai-based financial services group Ye Lang Capital South China Post.
The Shanghai government has admitted there has been disruption in the delivery of supplies but insists there is enough rice, noodles, grain and oil. “It is true that there are some difficulties in securing the supply of daily necessities,” Liu Min, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Trade Commission, told the BBC.
People in other areas are now hoarding supplies amid fears that China, one of the few countries in the world that hasn’t chosen to coexist with COVID, will extend lockdowns.