Two years after the coronavirus pathogen leaked or was deliberately released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, the country’s most industrialised city Shanghai, which the regime had protected along with Beijing during the outbreak, is battling the worst Covid-19 outbreak, pushing nearly 26 million residents into lockdown. The financial hub is under huge pressure to try to contain China’s biggest Covid outbreak since the coronavirus was first discovered in the city of Wuhan, 690 km (829.6 km by road) to the west, in 2019.
With strict curbs, millions are getting increasingly frustrated, confined as they are to their homes and struggling to get daily supplies. According to Chinese reports, they are witnessing a shortage of essential items, including medical supplies.
The situation is so bad in Shanghai that a citizen violated Covid lockdown norms only to approach the police, deliberately asking them to arrest him — in the belief that would get some food in jail! When another resident of Shanghai was quarantined, his pet was beaten back at home. Many claimed that pets of Covid-19 patients were clubbed to death by health authorities in Shanghai. Tens of videos are circulating via Twitter where people in hazmat suits are seen beating pets in a room or in public. Even mainstream CNN mentioned a video of a health worker beating a dog at a residential compound in the Pudong district of the city.
A user claimed that when a person was quarantined, Covid authorities broke into the house to kill the person’s dog. “It howls in agony as these ‘people’ deal with it,” the user alleged. While some videos claim to depict the “barbarism” on the pets of Covid-19 patients, others show a person jumping off the balcony “in desperation”.
The viral clip shows a Covid prevention worker — dressed in protective gear — chasing the corgi down a street and hitting it three times with a shovel. The video then shows the dog lying motionless. “Shanghai, China — (CCP officers) Covid Workers Brutally Murders a Pet Dog. The Owner Was Taken to a Covid Facility. Warning Sounds May Be Very Disturbing,” said one Twitter user while captioning a brutal video.
Several videos have gone viral on social media that claim they have captured the horror faced by the residents of Shanghai amid all the “struggle and frustration”. Twitter users have flooded the micro-blogging site with videos reportedly showing people, who were barred from leaving their houses, screaming from their windows for help.
Some “struggling and frustrated” people have committed suicide in Shanghai to avoid starvation. A report in Daily Mail said a video showed “one struggling business owner in Tianjin, northern China forcibly pulling his wife out of their apartment window, killing them both”. Their child was inside the flat when the incident took place, the report said.
Meanwhile, a US talk show host said on Twitter, “… people are jumping to their doom to avoid starvation/lockdown while Covid + pets are clubbed in public. If you think our prosperity/modernity will save us from authoritarian brutality, think again,” a journalist claimed.
A video claims to show residents desperately shouting, “Help, help, help, we have nothing to eat!”
In the following video, people are protesting while medical professionals in hazmat suits are trying to settle the crowd. As people raise their voices, a person shouts: “I’m starving to death! I’m starving to death!”
Residents battling to secure delivery slots for their food are also facing surging prices that the CCP government is trying desperately to control.
The Shanghai administration had warned yesterday that anyone who violated Covid-19 lockdown rules would be dealt with strictly. A Twitter user said about the man who wanted to be jailed to get some food in the prison: “This man in Shanghai deliberately violated Covid lockdown and approached the cop begging the cop to arrest him so that he will be in jail having some food to eat.”
Shanghai must endure more, it seems, as several users report small riots and protests over the lack of food and essential items in Shanghai. People are “ransacking and looting” supermarkets in China’s wealthiest city.
Some inhabitants of Shanghai took out silent protest marches, exhibiting their open refrigerators on their balconies to express their worry about the food shortage.
A report said that patients at makeshift hospitals complained of unsanitary conditions there. “There are no masks, no medical alcohol, no disinfection. Look at the garbage, toilets,” the report quoted a person as explaining the situation at ad hoc hospitals.
Shanghai is facing China’s worst Covid-19 outbreak, with the country staring at a drastic impact on its economy. The city’s Covid measures, which reflect China’s strict “zero-Covid” approach to eliminating transmission chains, have reverberated through the global economy.
The city administration had imposed its most extensive lockdown on 28 March. Analysts warned that they were not only hurting tourism and hospitality but also having an impact on supply chains across sectors.