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Chinese Police Build Cages Around Shanghai Homes in World’s Strictest COVID Lockdown

Published: April 28, 2022
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Shanghai authorities have put up fences outside residential buildings as China hardens its strict 'zero-COVID' policy, sparking fresh public outcry over a lockdown that has forced much of the city's 25 million people indoors. 

The largest district in Beijing, meanwhile, will require everyone living or working in the area to take three COVID tests this week, and put more than a dozen buildings under lockdown, after the Chinese capital reported 22 new cases for Saturday. The district, Chaoyang, is home to 3.45 million people.

The announcement set off panic buying Sunday evening, with vegetables, eggs, soy sauce and other items wiped off grocery shelves. 

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Volunteers and government workers erected metal barriers in multiple districts to block off small streets and entrances to apartment complexes.

In the city's financial district, Pudong, the barriers - thin metal sheets or mesh fences - were put up in several neighborhoods under a local government directive, according to Caixin, a Chinese business media outlet. 

Buildings where cases have been found sealed up their main entrances, with a small opening for pandemic prevention workers to pass through. 

'This is so disrespectful of the rights of the people inside, using metal barriers to enclose them like domestic animals,' said one user on 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.

Many of the fences were erected around compounds designated 'sealed areas' - buildings where at least one person tested positive for COVID-19, meaning residents are forbidden from leaving their front doors.


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