Frustration turns to anger in China due to ongoing COVID curbs

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Main campus of Peking University locked down over a single case, as angry Guangzhou residents defy forced quarantines.

The main campus of Peking University in Beijing has been locked down, amid a worsening COVID-19 outbreak in cities across China that has forced millions into quarantine and increased frustrations as the government continues with its zero-COVID strategy.

Students and staff at the university were told on Wednesday that they would not be allowed to leave the grounds unless absolutely necessary and classes were moved online at one campus until Friday, according to a notice from the university. The move followed the discovery of a single case of COVID-19.

Beijing reported more than 350 new cases of the virus in the latest 24-hour period, a small fraction of its 21-million population but enough to trigger localized lockdowns and quarantines. Nationwide, there were more than 20,000 cases, up from about 8,000 a week ago and the most since April.

Authorities have been inching away from citywide lockdowns and easing some curbs – notably on testing and travel – as they try to minimize the effect of their zero-COVID policy on people’s lives and the economy.

The latest round of lockdown has already turned frustration into anger with protests breaking out in a district of the southern city of Guangzhou on Monday night.

Videos posted online showed crowds in the city’s Haizhu district, which is home to many who work in the textile industry pushing down COVID-19 barriers and flooding the streets. Some could be seen remonstrating with white hazmat-suit-clad workers who usually supervise the mass quarantines.

Agencies

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