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‘Go home!’ COVID-hit Shanghai, Beijing tell residents to avoid social contacts -Breaking


© Reuters. Residents line up to get nucleic acids tests in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was Shanghai, China on May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song


SHANGHAI/BEIJING – China’s top two cities increased COVID-19 limits on Monday. It raised questions and frustrations about its relentless battle against the virus.

People familiar with the situation said that authorities are trying to stop the worst COVID epidemics in China since the outbreak.

There has not been an official announcement. However, some residents from at least four of 16 districts got notices over the weekend stating that they would no longer be able to receive delivery or leave their houses as part of an attempt to curb community infections to zero.

“Go home, go home!” A woman shouted “Go home, go home!” through a megaphone to residents who were mingling under apartment towers in one of the compounds.

Yangpu and Yangpu were two residents of a fifth district. They said that they had been notified about similar steps, with the announcement that their local grocers would close as part of this effort.

An online account of authorities requesting that neighbours with positive cases be placed in centralised quarantine, and asking them to hand over their keys for disinfection was a catalyst to simmering public anger.

Police picked a lock from a locked door after the resident refused to open it.

A voice recording was also circulated via the internet, showing a woman disputing with officials about spraying disinfectant in her home despite testing negative.

Professor Tong Zhiwei of the East China University of Political Science and Law wrote in a widely shared essay on Sunday saying that these acts are illegal and must be stopped.

Tong stated that Shanghai should be a model for other countries on the scientific and legal way to conduct COVID prevention.

He stated that such measures shouldn’t be taken unless there is an emergency.

Liu Dali (a lawyer representing one of China’s most prominent law firms) wrote a similar note to authorities.

Although users posted screenshots, copies of the letters were removed from Chinese Internet. On Sunday, Tong’s Weibo account (NASDAQ:) was blocked from posting any of its social media posts.

Tong and Liu didn’t immediately reply to inquiries for comment.

China insists that it will continue to adhere to its zero COVID policy in fighting a disease which first appeared in Wuhan late in 2019, in spite of the increasing economic cost.

The authorities have cautioned against criticizing policies they believe are saving lives.

These people point out that there are higher deaths in countries where restrictions have been relaxed or removed altogether in an effort to “live with COVID”, even as infections continue to spread.

Responding to Reuters queries about new curbs in Shanghai, the Shanghai municipal government stated that it must “increase the flow and control the movement of people”.

It said that there should not be a “one-size fits all” approach and that each area was free to adjust its measures to suit their own circumstances.

Shanghai posted a drop of 10 cases per day on Monday.


Residents of the worst affected areas in Beijing were instructed to stay home, while roads and compounds were closed on Monday. The city, 22 million people, was battling its worst epidemic since 2020.

As more testing was conducted in select districts (Chaoyang, Fangshan) it became clear that bus routes had been suspended. These two areas were described as “priority among priorities” by the municipal authorities in their counter-epidemic efforts.

Beijing announced Monday that it had 49 newly transmitted locally to May 8 cases, taking the total number of infected persons since April 22 up to more than 760.

Beijing had hoped to avoid Shanghai’s weeks-long lockdowns, but it is becoming alarming for residents that there are now more residential buildings subject to lockdown orders.

After being banned from her home on Monday, a resident in Changping District in north Beijing named Wang said that she had just rented an apartment within the compound.

“I have been working remotely for a while, but now I am worried about running out of supplies at the end of each day.”

On Monday morning, residents received notices that there were positive cases in their area.

One nanny who lives in the same area said that the lockdown prevented her from getting a job.

She said, “Today’s the first job day and I cannot go out”, the 40-yearold Meizi.

(The story was rewritten in order to add a sub-head.