At the end of March, Shanghai, the financial capital of China, announced a strict confinement that would affect its 26 million inhabitants. The measure, which was applied in two phases, prohibited the population from leaving the home to carry out a massive test screening with the aim of cutting off its largest wave of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. The restrictions were going to be lifted on April 5, but the increase in incidence has prolonged them with an uncertain future and an uneven application by area according to the number of cases. Since then, the images shared on social networks seem to come from a science fiction story: robots that ask the population to stay at home, cries of exhaustion coming from residential buildings in the middle of the night or even children who are separated from their parents to comply quarantine, a very controversial measure that after complaints and a formal protest from foreign consulates has been lifted for minors suffering from “special needs”.
In the background, the zero covid policy unceremoniously applied by the Asian country, which until the arrival of the omicron variant had managed to keep the virus at bay, something that for the Chinese government has become a matter of “political legitimacy”, as stated in this video by Macarena Vidal, correspondent for this newspaper in Beijing. This has already caused tensions between the police and a population that is beginning to show signs of fatigue.