Visuals of a scuffle unfold at an Ikea in Shanghai as health officials tried to close the store on Saturday and left it at the site after knowing someone who had been in contact with a Covid-19 patient.

Videos on social media showed that news of the sudden closure sent shoppers running and screaming in an attempt to get out of the building. Shanghai’s 25 million residents are mired in lockdown, after being barred from stepping out of their homes for two months this spring in an effort to eradicate the virus.

Health officials at the financial center said they implemented “temporary containment measures” at the store after they learned that a 6-year-old boy had close contact with an asymptomatic COVID infection. He did not say when there were close contacts at the store. Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said at a briefing on Sunday that everyone in Ikea and other affected areas would have to quarantine for two days and then have five days of health monitoring.

The snap lockdowns deployed as part of China’s COVID Zero strategy – where people are banned from leaving a building or urban district with little notice – have sparked several instances of panic across the country. In recent months, residents of the technology hub Shenzhen, the capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu and the leisure island of Hainan, have truncated fences, sprinkled under the beach and, after learning that a lockdown was to be imposed, erected office towers. have exited.

On Monday, 2,312 new infections were recorded across the country, the first time in more than three months that cases in China topped 2,000 for three consecutive days. Widespread outbreaks are showing that nowhere is safe, including resort areas where residents were expected to rest or areas that have recently been hit by the worst flare-ups.

In a video circulating on social media, an announcement can be heard inside Ikea that said officials asked the shopping center to close immediately and prevent people from entering or leaving. When security guards and health workers in personal protective equipment tried to close a door to prevent people from exiting, dozens shouted and pushed until they were freed, the video showed.

In response to pandemic prevention guidelines, Ikea Shanghai Zhuhui was temporarily closed on August 14 and 15 and will reopen on Tuesday, the company said in a statement.

According to a visitor who posted about his experience on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, those who did not manage to step out were sealed inside the store from 8 pm till after midnight, when they The quarantine was shifted to hotels.

China’s Covid Zero Could Last for Years Because It Works for Xi

Shanghai residents went through a painful lockdown in April and May as the city tried to seal the biggest outbreak China has seen since the pandemic began. People were ordered to stay at home, and many went hungry for lack of food. Chinese President Xi Jinping remains committed to a COVID zero approach, despite the social and economic toll that has left the country increasingly isolated.

The city recently saw a seven-day streak of zero local cases, which ended on August 11 and a rebound to seven infections.

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