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Confinement in Shanghai: the effects generated by the zero COVID policy in China

Confinement in Shanghai: the effects generated by the zero COVID policy in China

A BBC Mundo article recounts the vicissitudes that a Colombian woman lives in China -specifically in Shanghai due to confinement due to COVID cases. She affirms – to the BBC – that she had “never” experienced a situation like the current one.

This is his story: early Monday morning, Chinese police knocked on the door of his apartment in downtown Shanghai while he was sleeping. She was then transferred to a quarantine center, where the 27-year-old Colombian is still locked up, desperate and with growing frustration.

Yurley, who works for a company that exports products from China to Colombia, remembers that since the beginning of the confinement, the Shanghai authorities began to carry out routine tests in the different communities.

Every day they were doing tests on us”, he tells BBC Mundo.

On April 4, they took a test and saw that the result on their mobile application was “abnormal”, but never received the final results of that test.

When my QR code changed and turned red, I began to suspect that something was wrong“, Add.

Three days later, Yurley and her boyfriend underwent home COVID tests to be let out of their compound because they wanted to walk their pet.

He had no serious symptoms, “just a slight cough”, but his test came back positive.

After that, they did a PCR test on her, her boyfriend and Demi, her South African roommate.

The Colombian said neither they sent her the result of that test, but Demi was informed that she had COVID.

Yurley received “a Chinese vaccine”, while her partner, who “has never tested positive”, received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Demi (her roommate) has not been vaccinated.

After testing positive, the South African received a phone call from the health authorities asking her where and with whom she lived, and asking her to prepare because “in the next 48 hours” They were going to look for her.

Yurley was only asked for his address.

I told them to let me stay at home because I live with my boyfriend, I have a private bathroom and I asked them to do another PCR on us, because the antigen tests were already giving me negatives for April 12”, he points.

But he never received an answer. On Sunday, April 17 at 11 p.m., Demi received another call announcing that they were going to pick her up in two hours and asking her to inform her roommate, “Miss Benitez” to also prepare.

At 3 in the morning they picked up Demi, but I told them I wasn’t going to goYurley says.

My consulate had advised me not to go, because it was unfair that they never informed me personally that they were going to take me out of my house”.

They left, but half an hour later they started playing again.

The police showed up with a video camera and showed him a note saying that if he didn’t follow the rules he would have legal complications.

The agents spoke only Mandarin, but they promised Yurley that there were people in the quarantine center who spoke English. A promise that he would soon realize was untrue.

And, without further ado, they put her on the bus. “I started crying because I felt a lot of frustration. I knew that I no longer had covid, that I was already negative“, Explain.

In addition, he says that everyone on the bus looked sad, frustrated and “no one looked sick”. He adds that in the 20 minutes that the journey lasted, he did not hear anyone cough.

People in Shanghai are fed up, even the Chinese are protesting more and more and putting up flyers saying that this is the death lockdown, that people are dying”, he points out.

It has also been super sad because many pets have died of hunger or have been abandoned in the houses of the same owners..

The lockdown in Shanghai is so strict that it is difficult to get food.

The Total confinement prevents people from leaving their homes, even to buy basic products.

-No food-

The BBC Mundo report tells that since the beginning of April, Shanghai residents have reported difficulties ordering food online, and even restrictions on when they can place their orders, due to the shortage of supplies and the lack of staff to deliver them.

During the first days of the confinement, Yurley remembers that he could not get anyone to bring him food.

It was from the second week that he began to receive some products through community deliveries.

But they were very Chinese vegetables that we didn’t even know how to cook, vegetables that I don’t even know the name of, because they don’t exist in my culture.”, he explains with frustration.

Since the beginning of the month, the Chinese government has been giving away boxes of food to people in fully confined communities.

This is unsustainable, how much money is Shanghai spending with this lockdown?Yurley wonders.

-Two tests to get out-

The young Colombian will remain in the hospital until two PCR tests are done and they come out negative.

Last Monday they did the first one and on Tuesday night he was still waiting for the result.

If the test comes back negative, he has to wait for another round of testing, which is supposedly in “a couple of days,” and hope the result is consistent.

For now, he has stopped working and had to cancel all the meetings he had planned. He is busy reading, doing crossword puzzles, but he says that every minute he spends in the quarantine center seems like hours.

At first they said that the confinement would last five days and now it is more than fifteen. When will this end?”.


Shanghai announced three deaths from Covid-19 on Monday, the first fatalities since the Chinese megacity began a prolonged lockdown that has sparked anger and protests.

Source: Gestion

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