Shanghai IKEA Shoppers Push Through Exit Doors After Learning Of Snap Lockdown
China’s strict policy on Covid-19 has seen the country take extreme measures to curb the spread of the disease.
Recently, shoppers at an IKEA outlet in Shanghai were subjected to an abrupt shutdown after someone was suspected of being in close contact with a Covid-19 patient.
A video circulating on social media showed a large group of shoppers, who perhaps feared the worst, screaming to escape the building before the doors closed.
Hordes of people were seen pushing through a locked door as health authorities tried to keep them inside the building.
Shanghai IKEA shoppers push doors open as officials try to keep them in
The video making rounds on social media shows a crowd of people pushing against a door at an IKEA outlet in Shanghai.
— 方舟子 (@fangshimin) August 14, 2022
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), health authorities in the area imposed a “temporary control measure” at the store after learning that a close contact had visited the premises.
The close contact was supposedly someone who had met a six-year-old boy who was asymptomatic.
However, the authorities did not state when the close contact was in the store.
As current protocols in Shanghai require Covid-19 close contact to quarantine for two days and then another five days of surveillance, some shoppers were presumably unwilling to go through the enforced lockdown.
Crowd fled shopping centre despite officials trying to close exits
In the video, an announcement calling for the lockdown of the shopping centre can be heard.
IKEA had asked officials on the ground to stop anyone from entering or leaving the premises.
However, when they tried closing one of the exits, shoppers pushed against the door from the inside.
With the combined might and desperation of the people, they finally broke free and fled quickly.
People of all ages, young and old, were seen running away.
Trapped shoppers were later transferred to quarantine hotels
The Straits Times (ST) reports that IKEA has been closed for two days following the incident.
According to one shopper, those who did not manage to exit the store were sealed inside from 8pm till just after midnight.
They were then transferred to quarantine hotels.
Contrast in approach towards Covid-19
While Singapore enjoys considerably more freedom regarding movement during the pandemic, there are other countries with a relatively stricter approach to keeping the virus in check.
In a densely populated area like Shanghai, it’s understandable that extreme measures need to be taken to curb the spread.
Conversely, getting a quarantine order out of the blue will throw a wrench in everyone’s plans, so perhaps that’s why some of the shoppers were so eager to rush out of the complex.
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Featured image adapted from @fangshimin on Twitter.
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