'Going silent': China accused of 'state-sanctioned cruelty' over letter to residents

·News Editor
·2-min read

Residents in China are speaking out as authorities tighten their vice grip on parts of the country where Covid continues to spread.

A lockdown in the country's largest city that was initially due to be lifted on April 5 shows no signs of ending as it drags on into the middle of May.

While Chinese state media has declared Shanghai is opening up, certain areas of the city of more than 25 million people are facing a further tightening of already strict rules.

A worker in a protective suit locks a barrier of a residential area in Shanghai on May 4. Source: Reuters
A worker in a protective suit locks a barrier of a residential area in Shanghai on May 4. Source: Reuters
A government worker checks a QR code on the phone of a resident during testing. Source: Reuters
A government worker checks a QR code on the phone of a resident during testing. Source: Reuters

A Shanghai-based journalist on Monday shared government letter he received telling him his apartment complex would be completely cut off in the coming days.

"Just received notice our compound will go 'silent' for next three days, meaning no deliveries, everyone locked in," he wrote on Twitter.

"The state-sanctioned cruelty is staggering. Lock everyone in for months and then deny even basic necessities. Politics and zero Covid trump all, even hunger."

Don Weinland, who covers China for The Economist, said the letter showed the truth about the ongoing Covid situation in the country.

"As state media tells the world Shanghai is opening up, here’s what’s actually happening across the city," he remarked.

It comes after weeks of multiple reports bubbling up on Chinese social media as residents complained about being unable to obtain adequate food supplies.

Covid compliance fraying as frustration grows

Strict Covid restrictions in Beijing, Shanghai and dozens of other major cities across China are taking a psychological toll on its people, weighing on the world's second-largest economy and disrupting global supply chains and international trade.

In Shanghai, movement curbs will generally remain through the month due to fears of a rebound even though case numbers have been falling. Authorities in some districts issued notices ordering people back into their residential compounds after having let them out for brief walks or quick shopping, Reuters reported.

The prolonged isolation and fear of being sent to quarantine centres, which sometimes lack showers and other basic conditions, have caused widespread frustration, even altercations.

Videos posted online last week showed dozens of workers at Apple and Tesla supplier Quanta overwhelming hazmat-suited security guards and vaulting over factory gates to escape being trapped inside amid Covid rumours.

with Reuters

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