• Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

Covid lockdown prompts protests in Shenzhen


Sep 27, 2022

BEIJING: Dozens of people have taken part in a rare protest in the southern Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen, social media footage shows, after officials announced a snap lockdown over a handful of coronavirus cases.

The megacity of more than 18 million people in Guangdong province reported just 10 infections on Tuesday, but officials still ordered residents in three districts to stay home as China sticks to its strict zero-Covid policy.

Join Now

Officials are also under pressure to snuff out outbreaks quickly ahead of a key congress of the ruling Communist Party in the capital Beijing next month.

Videos circulating on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo and Instagram since Monday — verified by Agence France-Presse (AFP) — show dozens chanting “lift the Covid lockdown” as rows of police in medical protective gear look on.

In one clip, a woman shouts: “Police are hitting people.”

Get the latest news

delivered to your inbox

Sign up for The Manila Times’ daily newsletters

By signing up with an email address, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

The protest took place in Shawei, a neighborhood in Futian district, where the city government is based, AFP confirmed.

Shawei’s subway station was shut down from 10 pm on Monday until further notice “as part of pandemic prevention and control,” the city’s train operator said in a statement.

At least 14 “high-risk areas” across three districts — Futian, Luohu and Longgang — were under lockdown on Tuesday, with residents forced to stay in their homes, health officials said without offering details on the number of people affected.

An additional 15 neighborhoods are marked as medium-risk, with residents only allowed to walk inside their housing compounds.

Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, had just emerged from strict Covid-19 restrictions that saw schools and entertainment venues closed for weeks in early September.

The city only allows residents to board public transportation, enter a restaurant, or access public services including hospitals if they have a negative polymerase chain reaction Covid test taken within 24 hours.

Hong Kong scrapped its mandatory hotel quarantine requirement for arrivals on Monday after the strict virus rules threatened the city’s status as a key financial hub.

China is the only major economy still glued to a zero-Covid strategy, with its borders virtually closed since the virus first emerged in the city of Wuhan in central Hubei province in December 2019.

Swift lockdowns, long quarantines and mass testing have been a drag on its economy.

Earlier this year, a grueling two-month lockdown in Shanghai — the world’s third most populous city with over 25 million residents — was marked by food shortages, deaths due to lack of access to medical care and scattered protests.

In August, more than 80,000 tourists were stranded in the southern resort city of Sanya after a Covid flare-up.

Tourists took to the streets shouting for local leaders to meet with them.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *