China Covid chaos: Lockdown fury as kids taken away from parents –US citizens told to flee

China deploys warning drone as Shanghai protests lockdown

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The country is experiencing its most severe outbreak since the end of the first wave in early 2020 and in a bid to rid the city of the virus, Chinese authorities have enforced brutal zero-Covid policies on its 26 million residents.

Under China’s unbending virus controls, anyone found positive – even if they are asymptomatic or have a mild infection – must be isolated from non-infected people.

The city has opened sprawling isolation centres for tens of thousands of people to isolate the growing number of positive cases.

At night, between high rise buildings, it’s been reported that a drone warns people to follow Covid rules and orders people not to sing on their balconies.

The drone’s female voice tells listeners: “Control your soul’s thirst for freedom. Do not open your windows and sing.”

Only healthcare workers, volunteers, delivery personnel and those with special permission are able to move freely under the no-tolerance policy.

The strict rules mean that quarantined residents have to order food or wait for authorities to drop off food, and the government has acknowledged that there have been delays in distributing supplies.

Footage posted on social media shows the desperate city residents protesting the food shortages, chanting “we want supplies” from their apartments and banging pots on their balconies.

The US state department has also ordered non-essential personnel in Shanghai to leave the city over the harsh restrictions.

In a statement on April 11, the department ordered the departure of non-emergency US government employees and all family members from the Consulate General Shanghai consular district due to a surge in Covid-19 cases and the impact of restrictions on residents.

The department said: “Do not travel to the PRC’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Jilin province, and Shanghai municipality due to COVID-19-related restrictions, including the risk of parents and children being separated. Reconsider travel to the PRC’s Hong Kong SAR due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws.”

Public outcry over China’s policy of separating children from their parents has been widespread by the public and Western diplomats.

Footage circulating online appears to show very young children who have Covid crying after allegedly being separated from their parents and placed into quarantine at a clinic in Shanghai.

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Last week, Wu Qianyu, an official from the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said: “If the child is younger than seven years old, those children will receive treatment in a public health centre.

“For older children or teenagers… we are mainly isolating them in centralised (quarantine) places.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has blasted China’s zero-Covid policy.

He wrote on Twitter: “Disturbing reports from countries still enforcing ‘Zero Covid’ show this dangerous fallacy for what it is.

“Proud that the UK has led the world in learning to live with Covid. Freedom, with responsibility, should always be the default.”

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