Following President Xi's promise last week that the CCP would double down on its stringent lockdown policies, while also pledging to stamp out any dissent by locals who have grown frustrated with the government's insistence on enforcing its lockdown policies no matter how many people die of non-COVID illnesses, or how many suffer from shortages of food, medicine and other necessities in an economy where even disposable diapers are considered a frivolous luxury.
Now, just as Shanghai was hoping that lockdown measures would be eased as the number of new cases has fallen sharply, authorities have decided to instead tighten those measures.
According to the AP, notices issued in several districts said residents were ordered to stay home and have been barred from receiving nonessential deliveries as part of a "quiet period" lasting at least until Wednesday. The tightened measures could be extended depending on the results of mass testing, the notices said.
"Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Together we can lift the lockdown at an early date," said one notice issued in the city’s Huangpu district that was later shared online.
Shanghai on Monday reported 3,947 cases over the prior 24 hours, almost all of them asymptomatic, along with 11 deaths. Authorities have been gradually lifted isolation rules on the city’s 25 million residents, but the new orders appear to be returning to conditions at the early stage of the outbreak.
Two Shanghai residents reached through social media by CNN said they’d had no prior notice of the new restrictions, which could last as long as a week, according to them.
One viral video that has spread widely on Twitter shows Chinese COVID police coming to arrest an individual who claims they were mistakenly targeted for quarantine after somebody else on their floor tested positive.
The faces and voices of Shanghai Covid Police, with the occasional squirts of disinfectant. Seriously the intermittent squirting is worth the 4+ minutes alone pic.twitter.com/qP4mhqnSpI— Bill Bishop (@niubi) May 7, 2022
A couple of particularly troubling quotes from the officer in the video were transcribed courtesy of CNN:
- "From now on, people who live on the same floor (as Covid cases) must be transported (into quarantine)," a police officer says in the video.
- "It's not that you can do whatever you want -- unless you're in America. This is China," another police officer says sternly, waving a bottle of disinfectant in his hand. "Stop asking me why. There is no why. We have to obey our country's regulations and epidemic control policies."
Meanwhile, a video of one local Shanghai resident lecturing police for allegedly blocking a fire escape has also gone viral (notice how the lecturer's face is conveniently covered for their safety).
为这位上海市民点赞，给公安上了一堂法律课：— iPaul🇨🇦🇺🇦 (@iPaulCanada) May 9, 2022
Still, many locals are despairing as they worry about where food will come from.
Shanghai is going into the harshest phase of lockdown yet. Food delivery is halting. We’re told to rely on govt for food (rotting cabbage?). Day 39 of full lockdown feels like it could be day 1. They say this new phase is 2-5 days. The original lockdown was supposed to be 4 days pic.twitter.com/VuSkExZphL— Don Weinland (@donweinland) May 9, 2022
On top of all this, locals are complaining about price inflation as the CCP swears it will get price pressures under control. One market professional in Shanghai's western Pudong district said quality of life has declined sharply even as prices surge.