Disneyland horror in Shanghai as thousands stopped from leaving

Shanghai: Disneyland guests rush to exit as COVID lockdown hits

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Thousands have been caught on camera trying to escape from Shanghai Disneyland after it suspended its operations today, with all those still inside ordered not to leave until they returned a negative test. Videos widely circulated on China’s Weibo social media platform appear to show people rushing to the park’s already-locked gates. Roughly 60,000 attend every day.

Authorities took their decision even though just 10 locally transmitted cases were reported across the city, all of whom were asymptomatic.

The Shanghai government said anyone who had visited the park since Thursday would also need to take three consecutive daily Covid tests.

Videos of people fleeing malls and office buildings for fear of being locked-in have become commonplace on Chinese social media this year.

Rising case numbers from outbreaks across China have prompted a tightening of local curbs and lockdowns, including in parts of cities such as the southern metropolis of Guangzhou, as the economic toll of zero-COVID mounts.

Data published today showed Chinese factory activity unexpectedly fell this month, dragged down by softening global demand and strict domestic COVID-19 curbs, which hit production, travel and shipping in the world’s second-largest economy.

China has shown little sign of laying groundwork that would enable it to retreat from a COVID policy that it says saves lives and that has made it an outlier as much of the rest of the world tries to live with the coronavirus.

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At this month’s twice-a-decade Communist Party Congress, President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s commitment to zero-COVID, disappointing investors and countless Chinese frustrated by lockdowns, travel curbs and testing.

Zichun Huang, economist at Capital Economics: “We don’t expect the zero-COVID policy to be abandoned until 2024, which means virus disruptions will keep in-person services activity subdued.”

New cases in mainland China hit 2,898 on Sunday, topping 2,000 for a second straight day, a tiny number by global standards.

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In Guangzhou, one of China’s biggest cities, the number of new locally-transmitted cases totalled 1,110 from October 24-30, up from 402 in the previous seven-day period, with the district of Haizhu, home to 1.8 million people, under lockdown.

A Guangzhou resident named Ye said he was sent to a suburban quarantine hotel after being told on Thursday that he was deemed a close contact by virtue of walking on the same street three days earlier around the same time as someone who tested positive.

He added: “I do not know how they calculated that. Also there is no room for you to query or dispute it.”

“Also there is no room for you to query or dispute it.”

Over the last week, authorities have raced to get a handle on rising cases in cities across China, including Datong, Xining, Nanjing, Xian, Zhengzhou and Wuhan, forcing temporary lockdown measures.

Du Fan, 40, founder of Wuhan Small Animals Protection Association, which won praise from animal lovers during the pandemic’s first lockdown in the central city in early 2020, said his residential compound had been locked down on Saturday.

He said: “My biggest worry at the moment is that if this continues for too much longer, I’m afraid we won’t be able to continue rescuing the animals, because there’s no way to carry out a lot of work.”

In the Chinese-controlled territory of Macau, authorities reinstated curbs including locking down a major casino over the weekend after a handful of cases were detected. Macau had been COVID-free for more than three months.

However, in Beijing the Universal Resort theme park reopened on Monday after being shut last week because one visitor had tested positive for coronavirus.

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