Watch: China's enforced Zero Covid policy leads to chaos at airport as crowd confronts armed guards

“Chinese ‘zero-COVID policy’ police officers using machine guns to suppress passengers to stop them leaving the Xishuangbanna airport in Yunnan Province today,” the Twitter user who filmed the scene said

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, October 05, 2022, 05:27 PM IST
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The footage showed people lining up in the airport, while guards armed with assault rifles and fully dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gear confronted the crowd | Twitter/@songpingpang

Video shared on social media purported to show a tense scene at the Xishuangbanna airport in China's Yunnan Province, wherein security personnel armed with assault rifles enforcing China's extremely Zero Covid policy confronted passengers getting frustrated with long queues to exit the airport.

“Chinese ‘zero-COVID policy’ police officers using machine guns to suppress passengers to stop them leaving the Xishuangbanna airport in Yunnan Province today,” Twitter user @songpingpang wrote on the site, sharing a video which has amassed thousands of views and comments.

The footage, which could not be verified, showed people lining up in the airport, while guards armed with assault rifles and fully dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gear confronted the crowd. Reportedly, some of the passengers shouted, "Are you going to kill us all?" at the security men, although this could not be confirmed.

"Millions of Chinese people are living under martial law now! Every few hundred meters and each intersection , there is a guard carrying a rifle to enforce lockdown," the Twitter user who shared the video went on to say.

Since mid-February this year, China has faced an unprecedented wave of infections caused by the Omicron variant, with daily cases reaching in the thousands—levels not seen since the pandemic started two years ago.

Similar Zero-COVID measures were deployed in some areas with lockdowns in Shenzhen, Shenyang and Jilin. Other areas such as Shanghai had previously adopted a less strict approach avoiding wholesale lockdowns, only to issue a snap lockdown in late March due to rapidly rising case counts.

Since April, most areas of Shanghai have instituted "area-separated control" since April 1. This is widely considered to be the largest lockdown event in China since Hubei in early 2020.

These measures have seen some rare pushback from residents over the overzealousness of the implementation and the perceived lack of benefit.

China is at present seeing an upsurge in the number of new cases -- the country recorded 909 cases on Tuesday. The rise during this week's National Day holiday is increasingly leading to concerns about whether even tougher Covid-19 curbs may be deployed more widely in the lead up to the party congress, which begins in mid-October and is expected to see President Xi Jinping securing a third term in power -- something which no Chinese leader has done since Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China.

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