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Shanghai residents speak out on social media against confinement – 04/07/2022

SHANGHAI, April 7, 2022 (AFP) – A video of a dog killed in confinement against the coronavirus, anti-government songs and clashes with authorities are some of the ways Shanghai residents express their anger on social networks. . against Corona virus.

China – committed to its “Covid Zero” strategy – has seen low death rates since the start of the epidemic, but this has included border closures, endless quarantines and extensive testing.

But with the spread of the omicron variant, Shanghai just crossed 20,000 cases of covid-19 per day.

And the confinement, initially announced as a progressive and domestic measure, appears to last forever, while the rest of the world learns to live with the virus.

Many of Shanghai’s 25 million residents seem fed up with the ruling Communist Party’s rhetoric, and venting on social media about food shortages, restrictions and over-care.

In a video clip verified by AFP, an employee in a protective suit is seen beating a dog to death in the middle of the street.

On Thursday, a local media reported that the neighborhood association admitted to getting rid of the animal “for fear of infection”, acknowledging that it was a “reckless” act.

The video spread across social media despite strict internet censorship.

– Control the desire for freedom – In another viral video that looks miserable, a drone flies over an apartment complex at night, broadcasting a message urging residents to “control the desire for freedom of spirit (how much)”.

The photos, which have not been verified, are provided as a response by neighborhood authorities to the insults hurled at them by residents from their balconies.

Other viral videos, the location of which has been verified by AFP, show residents suffering from uniformed officers, while others walk through a street barrier chanting “We want cheap vegetables”.

The collection of these images constitutes a rare public expression of the popular revolution and a challenge to the government’s discourse on its strategy to control the epidemic.

But according to Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS University in London, the regime is unlikely to change its strategy as it uses its healthy “win” to legitimize its power over the country.

“Covid Zero is not just party politics, it’s (President) Xi Jinping’s policy,” he says.

Official figures show that the vast majority of the more than 100,000 cases reported in Shanghai in recent weeks are asymptomatic.

However, tens of thousands of families have been placed in quarantine centers to isolate the infected.

It was only after the release of videos that showed rooms full of isolated children that authorities relaxed their rule to separate children infected with the coronavirus from their healthy parents.

These photos sparked a wave of widespread outrage.

For experts, what is happening in Shanghai and the reactions on social media highlights the mystery at the heart of central government policy.

Says Yanzhong Huang, a health expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, based in the USA.

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