Shanghai to install door alarms to stop people with Covid leaving homes as restrictions ramp up

·2-min read

Authorities in Shanghai are set to enforce drastic new restrictions to control its Covid outbreak, such as fitting electronic door alarms to stop infected people from leaving their homes.

Other measures include evacuating people to disinfect their homes, daily city-wide testing, and accelerating transfers to quarantine centres.

The restrictions come even as China’s biggest city and financial hub observed a marginal dip in daily new cases, recording 17,629 new infectionson Friday, about 4.7 per cent fewer than the previous day. Since 1 March, Shanghai has recorded 443,500 cases.

“Our goal is to achieve community zero-Covid as soon as possible,” the government said, referring to their target of eliminating transmission outside the quarantine areas.

“This is an important indication that we win this major, hard battle against the epidemic … so that we can restore normal production and life order.”

Offering a glimmer of hope to its 25 million people, city authorities on Friday said that infections were showing a “positive trend”, adding that life could return to normal soon as long as residents followed Covid protocols.

People line up for a Covid-19 test at a residential area  on 22 April 2022 in Shanghai, China (Getty Images)
People line up for a Covid-19 test at a residential area on 22 April 2022 in Shanghai, China (Getty Images)

The strict restrictions in Shanghai, in place since early April, has taken a toll on locals.

They have also had a bearing on the city’s essential supplies with locals struggling to access food supplies. They are, as a result, forced to wait for the government’s supply of fruits, vegetables and other food items.

“I have no idea whether I will ever be allowed to go out again in my lifetime, I’m falling into depression,” one user said on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.

“How much longer is this going to last?” asked another.

Videos also circulated on social media showing busloads of people being moved to quarantine centres, with some residents complaining that the orders were being carried out indiscriminately, for the sake of speed and efficiency, with authorities showing no consideration for individuals.

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, workers load boxes of vegetables to be sent to urban neighborhoods at an agricultural facility in Shanghai, Tuesday, 19 April 2022 (AP)
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, workers load boxes of vegetables to be sent to urban neighborhoods at an agricultural facility in Shanghai, Tuesday, 19 April 2022 (AP)

Zhang Chen, 30, a Shanghai resident said authorities took her four-year-old son along with her 84-year-old grandmother to a quarantine facility, as she aired her concerns about the services at the center.

She added that the food lacked nutrition, the building was dusty and only partly renovated, with no showers and few toilets.

“They are patients, not criminals. But here it’s like they’re criminals, and being sent off to suffer,” Ms Zhang said.

Additional reporting by agencies

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