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Shanghai IKEA shakes up lockdown as China implements ‘Zero Covid’

Shanghai IKEA shakes up lockdown as China implements 'Zero Covid'
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A sudden lockdown at an IKA store in Shanghai over the weekend revealed a chaotic scene, as masked shoppers scrambled to get out, amid efforts by authorities to isolate people in the store after learning that several customers had been exposed to the coronavirus.

Videos of the crowds went viral on social media, as they highlighted the growing gulf between China, where officials have enforced a strict “zero Covid” policy through mass testing and rapid lockdowns, and many other parts of the world, where businesses have reopened. As usual, even the coronavirus cases remain high.

The videos were taken down from Chinese social media platforms soon after they were posted.

in statement In a release on Sunday, Zhao Danan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said a 6-year-old boy had tested positive for the coronavirus and had been in close contact with several people who visited Ikea in the city’s Zhuhui district. Zhao did not disclose when the close contacts were in the store.

According to BBC, the child tested positive after returning to Shanghai from the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. He remains asymptomatic and under medical observation by Chinese authorities.

In a viral video, confused shoppers can be seen crowding the Swedish-founded furniture store, pushing trolleys and carrying shopping bags. Some were separated from their companions by glass doors. In the background, a store closing announcement plays over a loudspeaker In one clip, angry shoppers struggle with security guards over what appears to be a back door or fire exit.

A call to the store Monday evening went straight to voice mail.

Shanghai health authorities require contacts visiting IKA stores to undergo two days of quarantine and five days of health checks.

2.5 crore was recorded in the city on Monday Six positive coronavirus cases, five of which were asymptomatic. More than 400 close contacts of the 6-year-old boy were identified; Over a weekend, 80,000 people loosely connected to the child were ordered to undergo PCR tests. news release From the Shanghai Health Commission.

China is the only country in the world that a Zero covid policy – Ordering mass testing and long-term quarantine in isolation centers and at home. In April, Shanghai was ordered to undergo a two-month strict lockdown, Mental health crisis And leaving thousands of residents without a steady supply of food. The arrival of the BA.5 variant has sparked fears of another strict lockdown in the city.

In a speech in June WuhanIn the country where the first case of the coronavirus was discovered, Chinese President Xi Jinping said a “dynamic zero-covid policy” ensures the overall safety and health of the population, “even if it temporarily affects economic growth.”

Eva Du in Beijing contributed to this report.

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