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COVID-19: Shanghai fences up affected areas, fuelling fresh outcry

Shanghai authorities battling an outbreak of COVID-19 have erected fences outside residential buildings, video filmed by residents on Sunday showed. The measure has sparked fresh public outcry.

According to BBC sources, fences were put up over the weekend without warning at the entrances of some buildings where people are already banned from going out because cases of COVID-19 have been detected there. The ban applies to all residents, regardless of whether they are infected.

The measure has sparked fresh public outcry over a lockdown that has forced much of the city’s 25 million people indoors.

?? In Shanghai, they are now putting up two meter high fences around areas that have had just ONE official positive covid test. https://t.co/Qnetove9oIpic.twitter.com/DxCAr7q8nh

— PiQ (@PriapusIQ) April 24, 2022

Reuters footage showed shops and restaurants sealed off with green fences and police cordons in central Shanghai. Workers clad in white hazmat suits could be seen in some parts of the street. Images of workers sealing entrances to housing blocks and closing off entire streets with roughly two metre-tall green fencing went viral on social media, prompting questions and complaints from residents.

? Pandemic control ‘white guards’ are busy setting up fences around the entrances to buildings in some communities in Shanghai so that residents are barred from leaving.

These are basically jails.

1/n pic.twitter.com/ZICEzhE9cO

— Byron Wan (@Byron_Wan) April 23, 2022

Just under 17,000 new asymptomatic and nearly 2,500 symptomatic COVID-19 infections were detected in Shanghai on Sunday. The total tally of the latest wave of Omicron variant infections exceeded half a million cases. There have been 51 deaths among those infected, raising the official tally of deaths in the latest wave to 138.

Shanghai, home to about 25 million people, has been under a strict lockdown for more than three weeks, and there have been numerous online reports of food shortages, lack of access to urgently needed medicines and medical care. Meanwhile, authorities are censoring news from the city and criticism posted online by frustrated residents.

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