Shanghai Ikea lockdown sparks scramble as China enforces ‘zero covid’

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A sudden lockdown at an IKEA store in Shanghai over the weekend revealed a chaotic scene, as masked shopkeepers scrambled to exit the store in an attempt to quarantine them after authorities learned several customers had been infected with the coronavirus.

Videos of the crowds have gone viral on social media, as they have highlighted the growing gap between China, where authorities are enforcing a strict “zero Covid” policy through mass testing and rapid lockdowns, and many other parts of the world, where businesses have reopened. As always, though, the number of coronavirus cases is high.

The video was removed from the Chinese social media platform shortly after it was posted.

inside statement In a release on Sunday, Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said the 6-year-old boy had tested positive for the coronavirus and had been in close contact with several people who had visited Ikea in the city’s Zhuhui district. Zhao did not disclose when close contacts were in the store.

Accordingly BBC, the boy tested positive after returning to Shanghai from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. He is asymptomatic and under medical observation by Chinese authorities.

In a video that has gone viral, confused shoppers can be seen huddled inside the Swedish-founded furniture store, pushing trolleys and carrying shopping bags. Some were separated from their companions by glass doors. In the background, a store closing announcement plays over the loudspeaker. In one clip, angry shoppers fight security guards looking out the back door or fire exit.

A call to the store Monday evening went straight to voice mail.

Shanghai health officials require contacts who visited an IKEA store to be quarantined for two days and undergo health checks for five days.

2.5 crores was recorded in the city on Monday Six positive coronavirus cases, five of whom were asymptomatic. More than 400 close contacts of the 6-year-old were identified; Over the course of a week, 80,000 people were ordered to undergo PCR tests linked to the child. News release From the Shanghai Health Commission.

China is the only country in the world which has a Zero-Covid Policy – Ordering mass testing and long-term quarantine in isolation centers and at home. In April, Shanghai was ordered to go through a gruesome two-month lockdown, mental health crisis And thousands of residents do not have a steady supply of food. The emergence of the BA.5 variant raised fears of another strict lockdown in the city.

In a speech in June WuhanIn the country where the first case of the coronavirus was detected, Chinese President Xi Jinping said a “dynamic zero-covid policy” ensures the overall safety and health of the population, “even if it temporarily affects economic development.”

Eva Du in Beijing contributed to this report.

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