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Shanghai residents scream in protest due to lack of food, necessities amid COVID-19 lockdown

Kevin Hughes

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Videos are making the rounds on social media showing residents of Shanghai complaining about the lack of food and medical care amidst the citywide Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. Restricted from leaving their houses, the people took to their balconies to scream, sing and voice out their anger, fears and suffering.

A video showing people shouting from their apartments quickly reached five million on Twitter. Troubled screams of people confined in their homes for days were also heard from tall buildings with blinking lights.

With Shanghai residents yelling out their frustrations, the Chinese government’s purportedly employed drones to broadcast this message: “Control the soul’s desire for freedom and do not open the window to sing. This behavior has the risk of spreading the epidemic.”

The phrase “control the soul’s desire for freedom” was a reference to a controversial remark made by a Chinese legislator during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when the government enforced rigid lockdown measures in Wuhan, the ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak.

Riots break out in some areas of Shanghai

In some areas of Shanghai, the stressful situation went out of control. Videos have shown a huge group of people lifting slogans and cornering officials wearing Hazmat suits before breaking into a supermarket. (Related: Shanghai’s latest COVID lockdown has left the city in shambles: “pushed to the brink of collapse”)

The videos serve as an exceptional collage of public anger and pushback against the totalitarian government’s rigid anti-COVID measures.

Shanghai has been totally locked down since April 1 with the eastern third of the city being locked down since March 28. The national government has sent in 2,000 military medics and 10,000 medical workers from other provinces to aid in the fight against the COVID wave driven by the omicron variant.

The struggle of testing and treatment has also taken its toll on health care professionals. A video of a doctor being rushed out of an isolation facility after he collapsed while doing his duties was shared and shown on Twitter.

Under China’s zero-COVID policy, all 26 million people of Shanghai had to go through mass testing. An infected person is taken from home and quarantined while all close contacts of the infected person are also taken away and isolated. The rest of the people have been restricted from leaving their homes or apartment buildings.

Four-day closures of districts had implemented as part of the plan while mass testing was done on all residents. However, that changed to an indefinite citywide lockdown after a surge in case numbers. Many Shanghai residents have struggled to order for food deliveries during the lockdown.

The Shanghai population was infuriated by the abrupt closure of most businesses and orders to remain at home amidst the lack of food and medicine. Children, including infants and toddlers, have been taken from their parents to be quarantined separately.

Meanwhile, China has advised the United States to cease from criticizing Beijing’s anti-COVID policies. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stated in a press conference that Beijing is definitely against the United States politicizing the issue.

Follow to know more about the citywide lockdown in Shanghai.

Watch the video below showing people screaming out of their windows after a week of total lockdown in Shanghai.


This video is from the Kim Osbøl – Copenhagen Denmark channel on

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