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‘There’s no Why’: Shanghai Rages at Endless Covid Lockdown

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Scuffles with officials, workers storming factory gates and households raging at being dragged into quarantine — Shanghai’s long fight against Covid-19 is unravelling into chaos and desperation. Online News

China insists on sticking to its zero-Covid strategy, and that has left most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents locked down for several weeks.

The city is the epicentre of China’s worst Covid outbreak to date, with more than half a million infections and over 500 deaths, according to official figures.

Yet despite cases dwindling into the low thousands in recent days, authorities are still conjuring new control measures.

Those include relocating entire residential compounds to quarantine — even including people with negative virus tests — and denying some food deliveries in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

Residents who were initially told they would be at home for a just few days are now entering their sixth or seventh week of lockdown and anger is boiling over across the city.

Images emerged over the weekend of a street fight between locals and officials clad in white hazmat suits in Shanghai’s Minhang district.

District officials later said “troublemakers” clashed with health management staff on Saturday night, inciting neighbours to rush out of their barricaded building as other residents threw objects onto the street from their windows.

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Videos circulating on social media and verified by AFP showed people in Minhang’s Zhuanqiao neighbourhood pushing police as chants against “violent law enforcement” echoed around.

Workers at Apple supplier Quanta’s Shanghai factory fought with guards and broke through barricades last week over fears that Covid rules on the campus could get stricter, according to Bloomberg.

Hong Kong in Online News and World News
Pro-Democracy Protesters are seen holding up their cellphones as flashlights as a prison van is about to exit the courthouse on December 2, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong urged supporters to "hang on" after he was sentenced to more than a year in prison for leading a protest outside police headquarters last year, prompting angry cries outside the court in one of the most high-profile cases in the government’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. (Photo by Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via AP)

The flashpoints add to a catalogue of protests since the early-April start of lockdown, in a country where unrest is normally swiftly squashed and rarely seen by the wider public.

  • ‘Stop asking why’ –
    Shanghai officials claim the city is winning its Covid fight, declaring in past weeks that millions have been released from the strictest levels of lockdown.

But the view from the ground is different. Large neighbourhoods given a brief semblance of freedom have quietly been put back into lockdown, Shanghai residents told AFP.

Many who were placed in low-risk areas have been told that they cannot leave their apartments except to get Covid tests.

Compounds are ordering “silent periods” or curfews of as long as seven days during which people are forbidden to even order deliveries of personal items, according to official notices seen by AFP.

Meanwhile residents of multiple buildings have told AFP they have been warned of forcible movement to quarantine facilities if their neighbours test positive.

“All of us will be taken to a quarantine centre and we’ll have to hand over our keys so they can come in and spray everything with disinfectant,” a British citizen living in Shanghai’s Xuhui district said, declining to be named for fear of retaliation.

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Videos showing arguments with officials are now common on Chinese social media, with new confrontations being shared at a speed outpacing the censors’ race to scrub them out.

One video that went viral over the weekend showed hazmat-suited officials arguing with a family in a mix of Mandarin and Shanghainese dialect.

“You can’t do whatever you want, unless you go to America. This is China,” one official says in the video after informing the family that they must be quarantined as they are same-floor contacts of a Covid case.

“Stop asking why. There’s no why. This is according to national regulations.”


© Agence France-Presse. All rights are reserved.

Notes from APS Radio News

During the past few years it’s been noted by scientists, doctors and the public that the mortality rate of the virus has been comparable to that of influenza or the seasonal flu.

In particular, according to Statista, an award-winning service that compiles and analyzes statistics for corporations and governments around the world, in the US, for example, the average mortality rate has been about .07%, whereas in previous years, when, it seems, influenza and the seasonal flu were being recorded, the mortality rate of the flu was about .10%.

According to the CDC, the number of deaths from all causes recorded in 2020 increased by 1 million compared to the number of deaths from all causes recorded in 2019.

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However, the increase in the number of deaths from all causes recorded in 2016 compared to the number of deaths from all causes recorded in 2015 was similar.

In 1968 number of deaths worldwide from what was called the Hong Kong flu was between 1.5 million and 2.5 million, when the world’s population was about 3.5 billion.

From early 2020 to the present, the number of deaths worldwide from what has been called Covid was about 6 million.

During the past year, the world’s population has been 7.5 billion.

As well, during the past few years, it has been reported that most age groups the recovery rate has been 99%; among those over the age of 70, the recovery rate has been over 90%.

Many of those who were pronounced as having died with covid, had a history of chronic and long-term disease, such as cancer and heart disease.

In countries that have had high vaccine participation rates, the number of virus cases has continued to increase.

The late Dr. Luc Montagnier, a Nobel Prize-winning virologist, maintained that the experimental mRNA vaccine was causing variants and that in a number of instances the spike proteins created by the vaccine were associated with damage to vital organs.

Since December 2020, when the vaccine was introduced to the public, the European Medicines Agency has recorded about 4 injuries and over 44,000 deaths following injections.

In general, lockdowns and quarantines have caused economic dislocations around the world; as a result of those policies, shortages of various goods and services developed in the past few years.

The combination of massive levels of monetary expansion by the the world’s central banks and shortages caused by lockdowns has resulted in record levels of inflation.

Recently, Jerome Powell, the Chairperson of the US Federal Reserve, has approved incremental increases in interest rates, and despite his earlier pronouncements, recently has acknowledged that inflation might well present a problem.

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