Chinese man seals himself inside his car to quarantine because he thinks he might have Covid – as millions suffer under the world’s strictest lockdown and residents stage mass pot-banging protest
- Convinced he had Covid, the Beijing resident stayed in his sealed car all day long
- Decorators at his house that morning told him they were infected, causing panic
- He finally got KFC at 5pm: ‘They put my food by the roadside and I picked it up’
- Story shared by China state news service in apparent effort to ‘inspire’ public
- China’s capital tightened rules today as rapid Omicron outbreak enters tenth day
A man convinced he had Covid taped his car shut and stayed inside for ten hours without even opening the window.
The Beijing resident had decorators round that morning who told him they tested positive, the China News Service reported.
At midday on Tuesday he got into his slick white coupe and didn’t move till 10pm, despite never getting tested for the virus.
‘I knew my chances of being infected are very high, so I tried to avoid contact with anyone to avoid troubles with others’, he explained.
The man’s car doors were sealed with tape despite the fact he never tested positive for Covid
Government stickers left on the vehicle showed the date and advised people stay away
‘Immediately after I knew about this, I stayed in my car without even opening the window. That was what I should do for public health.’
Images show the man’s car was sealed from the outside with tape and stickers referencing Covid. He did not address this in his comments.
Finally at around 5pm he ordered KFC, but still didn’t leave the vicinity of his car to retrieve it.
The man said: ‘It was a contact-free delivery. The delivery man put my food by the roadside and I went to pick it up after he left.’
His story was shared by the state-backed news agency in an apparent effort to rally the public behind extreme measures seen throughout the country.
The man stayed in the car park outside his apartment building (pictured) in capital Beijing
Beijing tightened restrictions today, while Shanghai let some of its 25million residents venture out for light and air after reporting a second day of zero infections outside of quarantine areas.
Beijing, with dozens of daily infections in an outbreak now in its 10th day, has not formally locked down. More than 300 locally transmitted cases have been logged since April 22.
But on Sunday the capital tightened social distancing rules and launched a fresh round of mass testing in its most populous and worst-hit district.
In the past week the city of 22 million has conducted mass testing in most of its 16 districts, suspended all entertainment venues and closed restaurants.
‘The impact of all this on us is too great – 20,000
In Shanghai residents have turned to social media to vent their frustration, some clanged pots and pans outside their windows. Others have clashed with public health workers.
The song ‘Do you hear the people sing?’ from the musical Les Miserables has become a popular protest anthem.
On Saturday, an online video of a Chinese orchestra playing the song, with the musicians performing from their respective homes, went viral with nearly 19,000 shares before it was blocked.
While much of the city remains in lockdown, Shanghai officials, striking a confident tone, said on Sunday that curbs on some areas would be eased after the city reined in COVID transmission risks at the community level, excluding cases in quarantine centres.
Public transport will be allowed to resume in five districts, but residents must remain in their districts as they visit supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals, a health official told the news conference.
Social media posts showed the streets of Fengxian, one of the six districts, filled with pedestrians and choked with scooters and bicycles. Reuters could not independently verify the videos.
But despite the fall in transmissions, Shanghai will launch a new round of citywide PCR and antigen tests from today till May 7.
Excluding imported cases arriving from outside the mainland, China reported 8,256 new local cases for Saturday, down from 10,703 a day before.
Beijing accounted for 59 of the infections, while Shanghai saw 7,872 new cases and all of the nation’s 38 fatalities.
China has pursued a Zero Covid strategy despite experts’ warnings that the Omicron variant spreads too quickly to be contained by lockdowns, in a year when Xi Jinping is expected to secure an unprecedented third term as president.
President Xi reaffirmed his commitment to the policy on Friday, putting China at odds with much of the world.
While many countries are dropping restrictions and trying to live with the virus, China is keeping its international borders largely shut and closing off entire cities to all but essential travel.
That includes Shanghai’s shipping port, a lynchpin for global trade.
China’s largest city entered its second month of draconian measures today after weeks of inhumane restriction from child-parent separations to the erection of walls around people’s homes.
Buildings where cases were found have had entrances sealed up, with a small opening for Covid prevention guards 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 Weibo user.
Another video showed residents shouting from balconies at workers as they 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?’ commented one user.
There are increasing concerns over the impact on the Chinese economy, with a leading Hong Kong equity investor warning the nation is in ‘deep crisis’.
Weijian Shan said on Friday the nation is in its ‘worst shape for 30 years’.
The Xi ally also told the private meeting: ‘While we remain long-term confident in China’s growth and market potentials, we are very cautious towards China markets’, in comments reported by the FT.
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