Shanghai, China: IKEA shoppers rush to exit as store closes Covid

Several social media videos show customers screaming and shoving each other as they try to leave the building before the doors close.

At a press briefing on Sunday, Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said the “store and affected area” would be under “closed loop” for two days. People inside the circuit must undergo a two-day quarantine at a government facility and five days of health monitoring.

On Monday, city health authorities reported six cases of local Covid-19 infection in Shanghai, five of which were asymptomatic.

An Ikea store in Shanghai’s Xuhui district was temporarily closed on Sunday and Monday in response to “epidemic prevention guidelines” from the authorities and will reopen on Tuesday, Ikea’s public relations group in China told CNN.

Shanghai, China’s financial capital of 25 million people, was closed for two months earlier this year, sparking widespread public outrage as residents reported difficulty ordering essentials including food and medicine.

The lockdown was introduced in line with China’s tough coronavirus policy, which relies on mass testing, extensive quarantines and even lockdowns of entire cities to stamp out any re-emergence of the virus.

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

Residents of many Chinese cities are required to present a green health QR code to use public transportation and enter places such as 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 are almost certainly placed in quarantine facilities.

Sudden lockdowns have become commonplace in the country, and the public is growing frustrated with the strict rules as the economy struggles to adjust to the disruption.

More than 80,000 tourists were stranded on the popular resort island of Hainan last week after authorities announced lockdown measures to stop the virus outbreak.

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