Shanghai is also isolating people who have been declared negative

Declared negative and compulsorily quarantined: Despite containment in Shanghai and drastic anti-COVID-19 measures, residents who are not infected with the coronavirus are also isolated to contain the contagion.

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China, which was largely spared for two years, has faced its worst epidemic outbreak since spring 2020 in recent weeks.

In by far the hardest-hit metropolis of Shanghai, whose 25 million residents have been in lockdown for the past month, anyone declared positive, even asymptomatic, is being sent to a collective quarantine center – variable hygiene for comfort and safety.

It happens that residents are put on buses in the middle of the night to be evacuated. Many local residents are upset about these isolation measures. Not to mention that a negative test no longer necessarily equates to peace of mind.

Several people who tested negative told AFP they were forced to leave their homes to isolate outside of Shanghai. A few hundred kilometers from the city.

“We had no choice,” says Lucy, a resident who has chosen to keep her last name a secret for fear of reprisals.

“The police have told us that there are too many positive cases in our apartment.”

According to the police, the stay meant taking the risk of infection.

Finament is also increasing the official toll as China adopts a zero COVID-19 policy. Shanghai reported 7,137 new positive cases on Monday, down slightly in 24 hours.


Displaced with her neighbors in the middle of the night, Lucy was taken to a makeshift quarantine center in Anhui province (east) more than 400 km from her home.

This resident does not know when she can return home.

His mishap is not unique. AFP has been able to speak to other Shanghainese who have also been sent to solitary confinement in other provinces.

A resident of the Jing’an district, known for its namesake temple and trendy cafes, testified on condition of anonymity.

At her home, people said negatively, “everyone got a call” telling them to leave their home, she says.

Persons declared positive were “relocated to hotels [y] be isolated,” specifies this resident, who also finds herself in a “scary” quarantine center in Anhui.

The companions in the accident at her home had “lost all trust in the Shanghai authorities” in view of the poor conditions, she said.

Another resident interviewed by AFP assures that his neighbors’ staunch opposition has in no way stopped the authorities from detaining them outside of Shanghai.

Exaggerated measures

The controversial measure reflects “strong pressure” from power on local authorities not to reach cases, said Yanzhong Huang, a health issues specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States.

Officials are routinely fired for alleged violations following the emergence of an epidemic.

Therefore, in order to avoid such a sanction, some officials are tempted to resort to “excessive measures,” notes Mr. Huang.

However, the transfer of negatively declared patients can also be a question of “prevention”, since the authorities expect an increase in cases of infection within a certain radius.

According to the official New China Agency, tens of thousands of contact cases have been isolated in the provinces bordering Shanghai.

But the media, on the other hand, does not mention people who have been declared negative.

Shanghai City Hall did not respond to AFP’s requests for clarification.

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