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Just how bad is China Covid outbreak? Leaked viral videos from Shenzhen are scary

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadMar 17, 2022 | 13:14

Just how bad is China Covid outbreak? Leaked viral videos from Shenzhen are scary

The world has finally taken a nervous step outside after hiding for nearly two years due to the Covid-19 threat. The Covid waves have mostly subsided in most countries. But just as things seemed to be getting back to normal, it seems like China has once again been hit by a Covid-19 outbreak.

china-647_031722123744.jpgHealthcare workers in China testing residents for Covid-19. Photo: AP

China is under a new lockdown since March 13, 2022, due to the Omicron outbreak. Several provinces have imposed varying degrees of restrictions.

HOW MANY CASES HAS CHINA REPORTED? The country where the virus originated reported 1,226 locally transmitted Covid cases on Wednesday, March 16, 2022; comparatively lower than Tuesday's count of 1,860 cases.

WHAT HAS THE GROUND RESPONSE BEEN? Covid cases nearly doubled on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, from the Monday count, sending the country into a state of panic. It has been one of the largest outbreaks so far in China since the pandemic began in 2020.

1. The numbers may seem less compared to other countries, but China has had a zero-Covid policy for a while now. Hence, the response on the ground has been quite shocking, to say the least. One video purportedly from Shenzhen city in China, known as the country’s tech hub, showed a number of ambulances lining up on a highway. Apparently, people from the city are being evacuated in scores to quarantine centers after a few cases were reported in the region.

The response seems extreme compared to Covid policies across the world, where a whole city is being evacuated just because of a few cases in the vicinity.

2. But it is not the only video from China that is going viral. Another video claims to show a Chinese couple being manhandled by the authorities in hazmat suits for allegedly not possessing vaccine passports.

3. Another video from Shenzhen shows massive queues of residents lining up for a PCR test. Residents need to renew their Covid-19 passports every 48 hours with a test to be allowed to stay home, in some areas of China.

4. Another chilling video shows healthcare workers in China culling dogs over Covid fears. Though so far, there has not been any case of a dog-to-human Covid infection in the world. In one instance, healthcare workers apparently beat a pet Samoyed (the fluffy white hairy dog) to death over Covid fears. It was not long ago that pet hamsters were mass culled in Hong Kong over Covid fears.

5. One video also claims that healthcare workers are testing live animals in a market including fish for Covid infection. These animals are meant for consumption.  

Of course, the Covid outbreak and measures have taken an economic hit with global supply chains once again disrupted. Shenzhen for example is the city where the majority of iPhones are assembled.

ZERO-COVID POLICY: China brought in the zero-Covid policy early on during the pandemic, complete with mass lockdowns, mass testing, quarantines, and travel bans. The policy did keep China out of trouble unlike the rest of the world, but for a while. It seems like the Omicron variant has been quite challenging even in the face of one of the world’s toughest policies on Covid-19.

It needs to be noted that China just came out of its Beijing Olympics-tailored policies for Covid-19 that were just as stringent. The policy is not fun for residents, with quarantines in metal boxes and mandatory and frequent testing, the killing of pets, has more or less been a traumatic experience for many.

China is not the only country reporting a surge in Covid cases. South Korea is facing its worst Covid outbreak since the pandemic began. On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the peninsular country reported 6,21,000 Covid cases in a single day.

Last updated: March 17, 2022 | 13:14
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