Shanghai residents protest on social media as Covid death toll edges up

Beijing, Apr 23 (EFE).- Shanghai residents are taking to social media en masse to voice their mounting anger over the authorities’ handling of the pandemic as 12 additional Covid-19 deaths were reported Friday despite a strict lockdown in China’s largest city.

The data from Friday, published by the Chinese National Health Commission, brings the Covid-19 death toll in Shanghai to 48 since the breakout of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The number of cases detected in the city on Friday increased by 32% from the previous day to 23,370, including symptomatic and asymptomatic infections

From Friday evening, protest videos began to flood pages of the messaging app WeChat, the country’s most-popular.

One viral video, dubbed the Voices of April, showed black and white drone footage of Shanghai complete with statements from local authorities and the testimony of local inhabitants.

It begins with the voices of local politicians denying the possibility of a city-wide lockdown in late March, in particular due to the crucial economic role of Shanghai in China’s economy.

It is followed by fragments of conversations and testimonies detailing the issues that arose in medical care and the supply chain of basic goods, as well as the conditions in the state-run quarantine centers, where all but a few positive patients are sent.

WeChat’s censors began to remove the video from the social network, but users continued to upload it, sometimes flipping its perspective by 180 degrees to avoid detection.

Authorities in Shanghai, a city of 25 million that has been in a total or partial lockdown since late May, have still not indicated when the strict measures would be lifted.

On Friday, even stricter measures were announced, which would limit the movement of health workers and delivery workers in a bid to reduce social contacts while disinfection work is to be boosted.

Authorities also announced that sensors and alarms would be fitted to the doors of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and were allowed to isolate themselves at home.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Shanghai has reported over 42,000 symptomatic Covid-19 cases and 55 deaths. EFE


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