Watch: Protesters Defy China’s Authoritarian COVID Restrictions

In a fleeting moment when Chinese citizens had abandoned their obedience to government decrees, Chinese protesters broke through barricades erected as part of the government’s COVID-19 containment policy on Monday.

On Tuesday, China’s National Health Commission said 17,772 new COVID-19 cases were reported nationwide, the highest daily total since April 2021, with the largest number coming from Guangzhou, a city of 19 million, according to CNN.

Daily coronavirus infections in the city have surpassed 5,000, according to Reuters, raising concerns small lockdowns could spread across the city.


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“It was pretty tense out there last night. Everyone made sure their doors were locked,” said Reuters, a Chinese citizen using the name Chet.

“When it happened so close to me, I found it really annoying,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep last night after looking at these pictures.”

However, no policy changes are likely, according to CNN.

Zhang Yi, deputy director of the Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission, said “pandemic containment measures” would be “reinforced” in more parts of the city than the current Haizhu district, where the protest took place.

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The BBC noted that Haizhu District has been a hotbed of discontent because low-income workers, who are not allowed to work for their day-to-day pay, are not paid to buy groceries. What food there is in the midst of shortages is too expensive.

Before Monday night’s protest, scuffles broke out with the white-clad COVID-19 police tasked with enforcing the edicts.

Reuters reported that there is currently speculation that the infection picture will worsen.


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“Guangzhou’s infection curve follows the pace of the March-April outbreak in Shanghai, raising questions about whether a city-wide lockdown will be triggered,” analysts at JPMorgan wrote, citing the spring lockdowns in Shanghai.

“It would become a test point for the government’s determination to push for relaxation of COVID control measures,” they said.

According to Fox News, China is enforcing a strict policy called Zero-COVID, which calls for entire cities or districts within them to be locked down once COVID-19 is detected.

Nationwide, 65 million citizens were locked down in more than 30 cities in September. Watch: Protesters Defy China’s Authoritarian COVID Restrictions

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