Guangzhou: Video shows fed-up Chinese residents smashing through Covid barricades

Barriers form a security checkpoint in the Haizhu district in Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Barriers form a security checkpoint in the Haizhu district in Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Rare visuals emerging from China’s southern city of Guangzhou showed a crowd of people crashing through barricades placed as part of Covid restrictions and causing uproar in the streets amid reports of growing discontent among residents facing harsh lockdown measures.

The Chinese city, housing nearly 19 million, is recording the highest caseload this week since the pandemic began, with more than 5,100 cases reported on Tuesday.

Visuals from the site of the protest showed chaotic demonstration on Monday night as dozens of people topple over the orange-coloured barricades installed for lockdown measures.

The video, shared widely on social media, showed residents in Haizhu district running around on foot and breaching the installed measures in the neighbourhood while workers tasked with maintaining the protocols wearing hazmat suits and holding microphones tried restraining them.

The Independent could not verify the authenticity of the video.

Many people took to China’s Twitter-like social media platform Weibo to share the video with hashtags related to the topic of “riots” in the area on Tuesday morning.

Officials from the Guangzhou city government and the Guangdong provincial police have not confirmed the incident.

This comes at a time Covid-19 cases have skyrocketed in China — which has been witnessing the pandemic for three years now — sparking fears of prolonged lockdown measures on locals who have repeatedly expressed frustration at the impact of curbs on their lives.

Officials in Beijing have argued that these stringent policies are helping them save lives.

China recorded 17,772 new local Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, officials said on Tuesday, confirming a spike from 16,072 a day earlier. The Covid infections have soared in the country at a significant pace since April.

Many cities in China are also trying to ease the zero-Covid measures and reduce the routine testing requirements.

The cases continued to soar in Beijing on Tuesday as a new tally of 462 cases for Monday was recorded, up from 407 seen a day earlier.

Major cities like Chongqing and Zhengzhou are among the worst-hit.