Shanghai authorities are turning apartment buildings into quarantine centers to house the growing number of covid-19 patients, but the move has provoked outrage and reactions from neighbors who are worried they are at risk of becoming infected.
In an incident that was broadcast live on the Chinese messaging platform WeChat, about 30 people wearing protective uniforms with the word “police” on their backs were seen clashing with other people outside a residential complex and arresting at least one.
A woman is heard crying while filming the scene. The video was watched by more than 10,000 people before it abruptly descended from the platform, which said it contained “dangerous content”.
“It’s not that I do not want to cooperate with the state, but how would you feel if you lived in a complex of buildings (…) where everyone has been found negative (in covid-19) and these people are allowed to enter?”, Asked the woman who was shooting the video.
The Zhangjiang Group, which owns the building complex, said authorities had turned five of its vacant buildings into quarantine facilities and informed it that the same would be done with nine more.
The group added that it transferred 39 tenants to rooms in another part of the residential complex and offered them compensation.
“On the afternoon of April 14, when our company organized the construction of the isolation fence, some residents blocked its construction,” the group said, adding that the problem has now been resolved.
According to the zero-covid-19 policy pursued by China, anyone who is positive for coronavirus is transferred to a quarantine center, even if they do not show any symptoms, while their neighbors remain isolated in their homes for 14 days. For this reason, the residents of the residential complexes that are turned into quarantine areas are worried that covid-19 will get stuck.
The new coronavirus was first detected at the end of 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The lockdown imposed there in early 2020 was a harbinger of the policy pursued by Beijing, which significantly reduced the spread of the virus for the next two years.
However, at the beginning of 2022, outbreaks of the highly contagious Omicron strain appeared in various parts of the country.
Now the focus of the current outbreak of the epidemic is China’s financial capital, Shanghai, with the result that a strict lockdown has been imposed on the majority of its 25 million inhabitants.
City officials have begun converting schools, newly built residential buildings, and exhibition centers into quarantine centers, and last week announced they had created more than 160,000 beds in more than 100 campaign hospitals.
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