Public anger over China’s strict 'Zero-Covid' policy boils over on social media

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In many parts of the world, most Covid restrictions are gone. But in China, 'Zero-Covid' remains the strategy. There has been an uptick of anger in China at these measures since the beginning of November, with social media videos depicting the country’s stringent measures being shared daily.

China’s controversial ‘Zero-Covid’ strategy has seen millions locked down and positive citizens forcibly quarantined. Hazmat suit-clad workers spraying disinfectant have become a common sight. A video circulating online shows Chinese health officials spraying toxic chemicals to disinfect people allegedly leaving a quarantine camp on 21 November, 2022.

Those who don’t wear masks in public face serious consequences. In Hong Kong, footage on social media shows police using pepper spray on foreigners after being caught not wearing masks in the metro on 20 November, 2022. Another, published on the same day, shows a foreigner in Beijing being arrested for reportedly not wearing a mask outside.

Footage taken in the southern city of Guangzhou on 17 November, 2022 shows two women being tied up and left in the street after they reportedly picked up a takeaway meal without wearing masks. The video shows the two visibly distressed women with their hands tied at a checkpoint near the entrance to a residential compound.

On China’s Weibo social media site, one of the women later recounted the incident, according to The Daily Telegraph:

My friend got a bit emotional, they put us down even though we did not have any physical confrontation. My friend’s clothes were torn apart.


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