Shoppers rush to leave as Shanghai Ikea goes into lockdown



CNN

Panicked shoppers rushed out of an Ikea branch in Shanghai on Saturday, after city health officials ordered the store closed after finding the location a close contact with a Covid-19 case.

Several videos on social media showed customers shouting and pushing each other in an attempt to escape the building before the doors were closed.

CNN has reached out to Ikea’s press office in Shanghai for comment.

At a press conference on Sunday, Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said the “store and affected area” will be under “closed-loop” management for two days. Those inside the ring must undergo two days of quarantine and five days of health surveillance.

On Monday, city health officials reported six locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 in Shanghai, five of which were asymptomatic.

Shanghai, China’s financial capital and home to 25 million people, was locked down for two months earlier this year, leading to widespread public anger as residents reported difficulties ordering daily essentials, including food and medicine.

The lockdown was imposed under China’s strict zero-covid policy, which includes mass testing, extensive quarantines and the lockdown of entire cities to prevent any resurgence of the virus.

Relying on mobile technology and big data, the Chinese government is using a color-based “health code” system to control people’s movement and prevent the spread of the virus.

Many Chinese cities require people to present a green health QR code to ride public transport and enter places including shopping malls, gyms and restaurants. The system records their whereabouts and whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 — those whose health codes turn red face almost certain confinement in isolation facilities.

Snap lockdowns have become common in the country, as the public grows increasingly frustrated with draconian rules and the economy struggles to cope with the disruption.

Last week, more than 80,000 tourists were stranded on the popular resort island of Hainan after authorities announced lockdown measures to prevent an outbreak of the virus.

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