Shanghai transforms houses into COVID isolation facilities, sparking outrage

Shanghai transforms houses into COVID isolation facilities, sparking outrage ...

Shanghai is transforming residential buildings into quarantine centres to accommodate a growing number of COVID-19 cases, but the move is sparked fury and protest from neighbours, who worry they are at greater risk of infection.

On Thursday afternoon, around 30 people wearing hazmat outfits with the term "police" on their back could be seen scuffling with other people outside a housing facility, taking away at least one person.

As an example of a woman seeing the scene, which was watched by over 10,000 people before being abruptly cut, with the WeChat livestream platform confirming that the footage contained "dangerous content."

"It's not that I want to cooperate with the country," she says. If you lived in a structure that is only 10 metres (30 feet) apart, everyone has tested negative, and these people are allowed in," a filmmaker said.

The video may not be independently verified, but the building's manager confirmed the dispute on Friday.

Authorities had converted five of the company's vacant structures into isolation facilities, and it was advised that another nine buildings would be converted.

It claimed that it had moved 39 rental tenants to habitations in other areas of the building and that it had offered them compensation.

"When our company constructed the isolation fence on April 14, some tenants obstructed the construction site," the group said in a statement, adding that the situation had been resolved.

Shanghai's government did not respond immediately to a request for clarification on its current quarantine procedure.

A resident at the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park complex housing companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and Hewlett-Packard, confirmed on Tuesday that residents were advised to go.

Workers arrived on Thursday afternoon and police arrived shortly after, according to the resident who witnessed the scene. She declined to be named as the situation was worrisome.

"This location is completely unsuitable to operate as a quarantine facility," she said, expressing worries she might see the virus by living close to patients.

Everyone who tests positive must quarantine at designated sites, and the neighbours must wait 14 days for the virus to be isolated in their houses, which has sparked public concerns about the consequences of the virus.

Shanghai has become the culmination of China's largest outbreak since the virus was first identified in Wuhan in late 2019, with more than 300,000 COVID infections.

The city has begun renovating schools, recently completing apartment blocks and exhibition halls into quarantine centers, and announced last week that it had provided 160,000 beds across more than 100 make-shift hospitals.

Authorities in China are permitted to take over buildings and other buildings as part of regulations in order to deal with emergency situations.

According to reports on social media, cities across the country have also occupied facilities to house quarantined residents.

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