Some things on the ground offer compelling reasons to believe that the actual
problems during the lock down in Shanghai were far more grave than the official
No family or workplace has been untouched by the rampage of death, fear and
desperation in Shanghai which is battling one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks.
The harsh lockdown has made life miserable for the residents of Shanghai.
Sick have not been getting medical help on time. People have been forced to go
for barter system for food as online facility could not cater to the demand. Despite
efforts, online businesses have failed to provide quality food to residents.
Health experts have expressed their deep concern over prevailing conditions in
Shanghai. According to latest reports, authorities have erected fences outside the
homes of people who have tested positive. This has led to an outcry on Chinese
social media platforms where people have accused the authorities of treating
people like animals. One of the resident stated that it was so disrespectful of the
rights of the people inside, using metal barriers to enclose them like domestic
Several netizens have posted on Weibo and other social media platforms, photos of
chinese healthcare workers installing green metal bars outside residential buildings
to stop people from coming out. The most ironical was that the authorities gave no
warning about green barriers. Rather, these barriers have been installed around
buildings designated as “sealed areas” where at least one person has tested positive
for COVID-19. Those who test positive are forcibly picked up from their homes and
sent to quarantine centres.
Irked by the harsh measures, several residents of Shanghai have posted videos of
apartment dwellers yelling from the balconies. But the government has been
denying reports of revolt and officials have been contesting saying all is well and
But a post on WeChat exposed the government’s claim and pointed out flaws in
basic food supplies to residents in the lockdown. According to the post, ducks
included as part of food parcels given to residents in Pudong district’s Zhoupu
township recently, were rotten as they had turned green in colour. The post was
widely circulated which evoked strong reactions from netizens across China. The
post has completely exposed the Shanghai authorities’ tall claims that everything
was well managed.
However, Shanghai authorities described it as rumour and stated that it was
investigating the source of an online rumour that green-coloured ducks were
included in food parcels to locked-down residents of the city. Citing the Shanghai
government’s rumour-busting platform, the Xinmin Evening News recently reported
that photos of the green bird came from a web user who was trying to cook a
traditional Guangdong dish of boiled chicken.The chicken mysteriously turned green
during the cooking process so the man posted photos of it on social media to try to
work out what had happened, the report said. The Zhoupu government claimed that
it distributed food essentials, including ducks, at the start of April but had received
no complaint of green ducks.Multiple reports suggested otherwise.
According to these reports ,Shanghai residents have been falling sick after
consuming some of the food supplies distributed by the authorities amid the city’s
COVID-19 lockdown. Cases of diarrhea and stomach pains have been reported by
residents after they ate braised duck and meatballs issued by local officials.
Chen Man, a residentreportedly told China Economic Weekly that she felt nauseated
after opening a government-issued packet containing a braised duck leg. Some
residents claimed to have received expired or rotten food packets which contained
daily essentials — including meat and vegetables. The local authorities have begun
keeping a close watch on food supplies Some neighborhood committees have
instructed residents to throw out questionable food items while officials have said
they would investigate the matter.
The issue of low-quality food rations had added to woes of residents who have been
struggling to get quality food, medical help, earn money and lead a respectable life
but authorities in Shanghai have begun taking more harsh measures. After these
videos surfaced of residents voicing concern about prevailing conditions, authorities
have sent drones to warn people to behave properly. Robot dogs and healthcare
professionals have also been patrolling the streets to ensure people remain inside
The city’s poor handling of the country’s worst Covid-19 outbreak in two years has
raised public distrust in the authorities and anger at the government.Shanghai Internet
Information Management Office recently suspended the operation of 30 chat groups
on WeChat for making up and disseminating rumours, most of which were related
with the city’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.In all, 23 people were
reportedly punished for spreading rumours. It is time for the authorities to ensure that
quality food supply and medical help are provided to residents living indoors under
difficult conditions. The authorities should ensure that residents are treated with