Thousands of Beijing residents were forcibly sent into quarantine on Saturday morning, after the detection of 26 cases of covid-19 in their residential complex, according to images and an official notice shared on social networks.
More than 13,000 residents of the Nanxinyuan housing complex, in the southeast of the capital, were transported to isolation hotels at night, despite having tested negative for covid.
“Experts decided that all residents of Nanxinyuan should be quarantined from midnight on May 21 for seven days,” said an announcement from Chaoyang district health authorities.
“Please cooperate, if not, you will have to bear the legal consequences,” he added.
In some photos shared on social networks, hundreds of people were seen lining up with their luggage, in the middle of the dark, to get on buses in front of the residence.
“Some of us have been in lockdown for 28 days since April 23 and we have all tested negative since then,” complained a resident on the Weibo social network. “Many of my neighbors are elderly or have young children,” he added.
Beijing is facing its biggest explosion of Covid-19 infections since the pandemic began. The omicron variant has infected more than 1,300 people since the end of April, causing the indefinite closure of restaurants, schools and tourist sites.
China carries out a forceful “zero covid” policy that implies the closure of borders, massive tests, confinements of entire cities and mandatory quarantines for people who have been in contact with those infected.
On Weibo, netizens expressed concern Saturday that the government is adopting the same type of measure it imposed in Shanghai last month, when thousands of people were forcibly interned in makeshift quarantine centers.
“It’s exactly the same as in Shanghai, the first step is to cut off the water and electricity, then demand the keys… then disinfect the houses. The electrical appliances, the wooden furniture, the clothes, the food… everything spoiled,” noted a comment that had garnered more than 300 likes.