Residents Caged In As Shanghai Officials Block Off Their Homes With Metal Fences

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shanghai cages covid lockdown

Authorities in Shanghai have erected fences outside residential buildings as China hardens its draconian ‘zero-covid’ policy.

Green metal fences were installed overnight to restrict people’s movement as the city is, apparently, facing the worst covid surge since the pandemic began.

Those with fences outside their homes, in a sealed area, are not able to leave their properties whether they have the virus or not..

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The Mail Online reports: In Shanghai, images of workers in white hazmat suits sealing entrances of housing blocks and closing off entire streets with green fencing – roughly roughly two metres tall – went viral on social media, prompting questions and complaints from residents.

Volunteers and government workers erected metal barriers in multiple districts to block off small streets and entrances to apartment complexes.

In the city’s financial district, Pudong, the barriers – thin metal sheets or mesh fences – were put up in several neighborhoods under a local government directive, according to Caixin, a Chinese business media outlet. 

Buildings where cases have been found sealed up their main entrances, with a small opening for pandemic prevention workers to pass through. 

‘This is so disrespectful of the rights of the people inside, using metal barriers to enclose them like domestic animals,’ said one user on social media platform Weibo.

One video showed residents shouting from balconies at workers trying to set up fencing. The workers relented and took it away. Other videos showed people trying to pull fences down.

‘Isn’t this a fire hazard?’ asked another Weibo user.

Many of the fences were erected around compounds designated ‘sealed areas’ – buildings where at least one person tested positive for COVID-19, meaning residents are forbidden from leaving their front doors.

It was not clear what prompted authorities to resort to fencing. A notice dated Saturday from one local authority shared online said it was imposing ‘hard quarantine’ in some areas.

Reuters news agency was not able to verify the authenticity of the notice or all of the images, but saw green fencing on a street in central Shanghai on Sunday.

In recent days, police in hazmat suits have been seen patrolling Shanghai streets, setting up road blocks and asking pedestrians to return home.

The Shanghai government did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.