Within 24 hours of reopening, some areas of Shanghai were closed due to new COVID cases
As Shanghai authorities began reopening the city on June 1, some residential areas have been locked down again due to new reports of COVID-19 infections. As residents question and criticize the measures, authorities are trying to pin the blame on small neighborhood committees.
At around 8 p.m. on June 1, residents of a neighborhood in Shanghai’s Pudong district posted on social media that five people who tested positive, along with their 43 close contacts, were reportedly taken by bus to a quarantine camp, and the neighborhood has returned to containment mode. .
Additionally, on the same day, the Caojiadu Ward Committee of Jingan District sent a letter to all residents, stating that “people with positive PCR test results were found wandering around the ward on June 1.” Therefore, within the next 48 hours, all residents must undergo two PCR tests. During this time, residents are not allowed to leave their homes and businesses in the area will be closed.
A resident named Yu from Shanghai’s Minhang district expressed skepticism about the official number of new COVID infections.
He told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times, “We were told there were two positive cases here, but I can’t find my neighborhood on the official report. It’s the same for our next district.
On June 2, videos provided by residents show Tianlin No. 11 Ward in Xuhui District under lockdown. Although people can enter the area, they are not allowed to exit.
Other parts of Shanghai experienced the same short-lived freedom. A neighborhood committee in Songjiang District issued a public statement on June 1. Due to positive test results in several buildings, the entire neighborhood is said to be in lockdown mode and residents are now allowed to leave the area, from June 1 to June 8, according to the notice. He did not mention when the lockdown would be lifted.
Political affairs commentator Tang Jingyuan said neighborhood committees are the lowest-level agencies in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) structure and the “last mile” of the CCP’s tentacles.
A neighborhood committee appears to be organized voluntarily by the people, but it operates under Chinese rule, Tang said. According to a document released in August 2010 by the State Council Office, neighborhood committees have become part of the municipal government budget.
However, due to the backlash from the harsh lockdown measures, authorities are trying to shift the blame to neighborhood committees. For example, the deputy head of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, Zeng Qun, said at a press conference on May 29: “Neighborhood committees are organized by residents, not by the government. Therefore, all actions of the committee are within the autonomy of the people and not of government orders.
Tang said high-level authorities are aware of the high cost of the lockdown and therefore blame everything on neighborhood committees, which are supposedly “organized by the people”. But when people sue neighborhood committees for damages, “they won’t act any differently than government agencies.”
Chinese netizens expressed their displeasure and mocked the lockdown measures.
One wrote, “All the lockdowns are actually voluntary actions on our part to contribute to Shanghai’s prosperity.
“We not only locked ourselves in, but also asked hospitals, shopping centers and businesses to close. And they are surprisingly obedient – all closed!”
At around 11 a.m. on June 2, the Shanghai International Finance Center (IFC), the center of the financial district, abruptly closed. No one was allowed to enter or leave the premises.
In one video, many people, including employees, frantically run for the exits as they rush out of the building before it is completely closed.
Employees who managed to get out of the building were then ordered by their superiors to return to work.
One person posted on social media: “Bosses tell those who left the building to come back. Anyone who was at work today must be back inside the building to be monitored by businesses.
News of the closure of IFC Shanghai quickly spread online.
A social media user posted: “If you run back to your neighborhood, doesn’t that put your neighborhood in danger?
Another wrote: “We are all afraid of being stuck at work; maybe we should come to work with a change of clothes, toothpaste, toothbrush and sleeping bags. It’s so scary!
Li Xi and Luo Ya contributed to this report.