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Shoppers at Shanghai’s Ikea Outlet Flee Fearing Snap Lockdown after Covid Case Found Inside

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: August 15, 2022, 20:40 IST

Shanghai

Ikea Shanghai Xuhui workers struggle to keep shoppers inside as they break free from them after authorities declared a snap lockdown in the area after finding a Covid case (Image: Twitter Video Screengrab)

Ikea Shanghai Xuhui workers struggle to keep shoppers inside as they break free from them after authorities declared a snap lockdown in the area after finding a Covid case (Image: Twitter Video Screengrab)

Shoppers visiting the Ikea Shanghai Xuhui had no idea they would be hauled off to quarantine centres and fight to break themselves free to avoid getting caught in a snap lockdown

Scenes of mayhem inside an Ikea store in China’s Shanghai showed how authorities there impose snap lockdowns without any prior warning. On Saturday, shoppers were surprised to find themselves on the verge of being locked inside after authorities said they found a close contact of a Covid patient visited the store.

The shoppers were scurrying around the store trying to find an exit after learning that one of the fellow shoppers was in contact with a Covid-19 patient.

The authorities immediately announced that they will be locking down the exits and doors leading to the outside of the store.

Videos on social media showed shoppers screaming and fleeing towards the nearest exit in order to avoid being locked inside the store.

Later, Shanghai health authorities imposed ‘temporary control measures’ at the store and said a 6-year-old boy with an asymptomatic Covid infection visited the store.

They did not say when the child was in the store.

The shoppers who were inside the Ikea store will now need to quarantine for two days and then do five days of health surveillance, as per Shanghai health body’s directions.

Such snap lockdowns are part of China’s Covid Zero policy where little to no notice is given to people inside a building or an urban district. These have caused misery and panic amongst residents of several Chinese cities other than Shanghai, like Shenzhen and Guangzhou as well.

In Chengdu and Hainan people have fled beaches, office buildings, jumped fences and barricades after getting the whiff of a snap lockdown.

The videos on social media shows that an announcement is being made over the speakers inside the store telling people that authorities have asked the store managers to immediately shut down the store. They were told to stop people from leaving the store and entering the store.

Soon after the announcement, officials in PPE kits started to block the exits during which several dozens of people pushed back and opened one of the doors until they broke free. People were screaming, scurrying about the store and jostling with the security guards in order to break free.

However, not all people were able to get out of the store and those who were left behind were transported to quarantine centres.

China punishes residents who do not follow the quarantine rules and have faced criticism for the Covid Zero policy it follows. However, this year during the lockdown in Shanghai, people protested against the lockdowns as it led to shortage of food, medicines and other necessities. Protests also broke out as people even died due to no food.

(with inputs from Bloomberg)

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first published:August 15, 2022, 20:28 IST
last updated:August 15, 2022, 20:40 IST