Outcry in China after break-ins to hunt for Covid contacts

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Videos were captured of some of the break-ins and posted on popular social networks like Sina Weibo…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese officials have apologised to residents of a locked-down community in Guangzhou for removing the locks on the doors to their homes, media reports said.

A number of people at the apartment complex in the southern Chinese city had recently tested positive for Covid, BBC reported. Officials were searching for close contacts who may have been hiding in an attempt to avoid being moved to a quarantine centre.

China maintains a strict zero-Covid policy and quarantines are common.

Those affected by the break-ins have been told that they will be compensated for the damage, BBC reported.

According to the Tianmu News outlet, the locks were broken on the front doors of at least 84 homes by grassroots officials and community workers.

A staff member helps a villager disinfect baggage when he returns to Lianqin Village of Beicai Town in Pudong New Area, east China’s Shanghai, April 26, 2022. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang/IANS)



The incident took place on July 10, soon after several people at the complex had tested positive for the virus.

According to the Global Times, residents were moved to a centralised quarantine facility, but “some close contacts were found hiding in their houses”, leading to searches of other homes for “hidden residents”.

Videos were captured of some of the break-ins and posted on popular social networks like Sina Weibo.

It sparked an angry outcry, with many calling for those involved to be arrested for illegal entry, given that trespassing falls under China’s criminal law, BBC reported.

The district government in Guangzhou’s Liwan district apologised on Tuesday, saying the break-ins “deviated from the requirements of epidemic prevention”.

It said that an investigation would be carried out, and those involved will be punished.

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