Chaos erupted at an Ikea store in Shanghai over the weekend after local authorities attempted to implement a sudden closure as shoppers kept inside due to potential exposure to COVID-19.
Videos Shared online by writer Fang Shimin Others showed IKEA shoppers running to flee the store on Saturday before authorities could close the doors.
The rush to get out occurred after an announcement in an Ikea store revealed that the authorities would close the store and not allow anyone to enter or leave.
At one point, a large group of shoppers physically forced their way past the officers who were trying to lock them inside.
Those who could not escape were stuck inside for more than four hours before being transferred to nearby hotels for quarantine, Bloomberg mentionedciting the description of an eyewitness on Chinese social media.
State health officials in Shanghai later confirmed that they had implemented “temporary control measures” at the Ikea store and some surrounding areas. The closure came after authorities learned that someone who had done shopping at an Ikea store had been exposed to a six-year-old with asymptomatic COVID-19.
Shoppers stuck inside will be forced to quarantine on site for two days, and then undergo five days of health monitoring, said Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission.
The company said in a statement that the IKEA site in Shanghai was closed until Monday and is expected to reopen on Tuesday. The Post has contacted Ikea for further comments.
China has enacted controversial “zero COVID” measures in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Residents of Shanghai and other cities have dealt with sporadic lockdowns for several months. Earlier this year, Shanghai was closed for two months, as local residents were unable to leave their homes.
In May, videos went viral on social media showing Revolting workers at an Apple supplier factory in Shanghai due to lockdown. The factory was one of many facilities that adopted a “closed-loop” system where employees are forced to work, eat and sleep on site or in nearby “bubbles”.
Beijing has faced widespread criticism for its brutal approach to the virus. Earlier this month, a co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey tweeted “End CCP” – A reference to the Chinese Communist Party – while sharing a CNN report detailing Beijing’s strict “zero COVID” rules.
Measures included mandatory COVID-19 testing with color-coded access to public areas depending on results, as well as health tracking apps that exacerbated fears of government surveillance.
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