Chaotic scenes of thousands of people being forced into immediate quarantine at Shanghai International Airport have been shared on social media after it’s believed airport staff tested positive to Covid-19.
State-run media outlet Global Times reported the decision was made after several Shanghai Pudong Airport workers and their close contacts were diagnosed on Sunday (local time), while the official Xinhua news agency reports just one security inspector and his wife tested positive for the virus.
Several videos showed authorities wearing white hazmat suits as they attempted to funnel large angry crowds into areas where mandatory testing was to take place.
One Twitter user showed a video of a crowd pushing back against a human barricade.
“Massive chaos at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport in China after sudden announcement by the authorities to test all staff for COVID19 after detection of two positive cases. The crowd trying to break the blockade were forced to be quarantined,” user @raveenaujmaya wrote.
Another user showed videos of people fleeing under stairwells and climbing over walls to avoid quarantine. She said the videos were sent to her from a friend who was at the airport at the time.
“Shanghai International Airport – two airport cargo employees test positive for Covid 19. Entire airport shuts down- no one can leave- 100,000 travellers are isolated and quarantined, waiting to be tested. (video from a friend who is there),” she wrote.
Another Twitter account reported authorities gave up trying to test all staff after the crowd became too much to handle, however Global Times reported all airport staff were tested.
Mainland China reported 17 new Covid-19 cases with three cases of local transmission and nine cases originating overseas, the National Health Commission said.
Two of the local transmissions took place in Inner Mongolia and one in Shanghai.
Shanghai's health authority later reported two new locally transmitted cases in the city on Sunday, both connected to the Pudong cases.
Mainland China reported another 11 asymptomatic cases on November 21, down from 18 on the previous day.
It has so far reported an accumulated total of 86,431 COVID-19 cases, with the official death toll at 4,634.
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