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Shanghai residents scream out from high-rise apartments as lockdown stretches into second week

April 11, 2022, 5:10 PM UTC

As Shanghai enters week two of strict COVID lockdowns, a video has gone viral on social media showing frustrated residents screaming from windows of their high-rise apartment buildings.

In what looks like a scene from a dystopian horror movie, it appears the government responded to the window screaming by sending a drone playing a message instructing the residents to keep quiet and comply with restrictions. 

Shanghai is currently in the midst of its largest COVID outbreak in two years with over 26,000 new cases reported there on Sunday. The city entered complete lockdown on April 5 as part of China’s “zero-COVID” policy, which aims to completely eradicate the virus by implementing citywide shutdowns to limit outbreaks. 

The city’s 25 million residents are prohibited from leaving their homes during the lockdown, and it has become increasingly difficult to purchase food. Most residents have been ordering food through delivery apps or through government-delivered rations, but actually getting that food has proved difficult because of the high demand.

Last week, the country’s largest e-commerce platform, Alibaba, announced that all individual deliveries would be postponed for seven days. Residents have started buying groceries in bulk through group orders and sharing with their neighbors at discounted rates. 

“You can only buy through groups now, because [individual stores] just can’t deliver anymore,” one resident told Fortune last week.  

One video went viral last week of a resident waking up as early as 5:30 a.m. in the morning to try to secure a delivery. 

The lack of food isn’t the only thing prompting people in Shanghai to yell from their balconies in protest of the continued lockdowns. Residents told Fortune last week they are more frightened of China’s COVID-zero measures than of the virus itself.

A viral video from the city last week showed a Chinese health worker dressed in protective gear beating a pet dog to death. The dog’s owner was in quarantine at an isolation facility after testing positive, and released the dog after not being able to find anyone to take care of it while in quarantine, according to China News Weekly. The footage went viral on Weibo, with many noting that the killing was cruel and unnecessary. 

The gruesome clip shows the COVID prevention worker chasing the dog down the street before striking it several times with a shovel, killing it. 

And images of an overcrowded Shanghai facility used to house children who test positive for COVID went viral on Weibo last weekend, according to Reuters. Parents in Shanghai previously told Fortune that they feared being forcibly separated from their children in the event of a positive test. 

Since then, the city announced it was relaxing rules and allowing some parents to quarantine with their children.

Case numbers in Shanghai are on the rise, and it’s unlikely the lockdowns are close to ending.
Sunday’s 26,087 new positive cases were an all-time high, according to Bloomberg.

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