Shanghai Covid: Ikea shoppers flee, trying to close the store


Shanghai Covid: Ikea shoppers flee, trying to close the store

On Saturday, there were chaotic scenes at an Ikea store in Shanghai, with shoppers trying to flee while authorities tried to isolate them.

Health officials were trying to shut down the store in the Xuhui district because a customer had close contact with a positive Covid case.

The videos show the guards closing the doors at one point, but a mob forced them to open, and they fled.

Shanghai suffered a severe two-month shutdown earlier this year.

Since then, in line with the country's strict "zero-Covid" strategy, the city of 20 million has ordered a rapid closure of areas where positive cases or close contacts were detected.

Many were locked up in unusual places - including hot plate restaurants, gyms, and offices.

The order for the sudden closure of the IKEA store was issued due to close contact with a six-year-old boy who tested positive for the virus after returning to Shanghai from Lhasa in Tibet, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, Zhao Dandan, said on Sunday.

He did not say when he believed the person in close contact with the store.

Zhao said those who have been in an Ikea store and related areas should quarantine for two days, followed by five days of health monitoring.

Zero Covid is a danger to China Xi.

China's economy shrinks in light of the zero-Covid policy.

By Sunday, nearly 400 close contacts of the six-year-old boy - who is asymptomatic - had been traced, while 80,000 people had been ordered to undergo a PCR test, according to the Shanghai Daily.

Ikea customer service said on Sunday that the store was closed due to Covid restrictions.

Xuhui flagship store, opened in 1998, was the first Swedish furniture retail outlet in China. It now has 35 outlets across the country.

China has stuck to its no-COVID approach to slowing the spread of the coronavirus despite its massive impact on the economy and the increasingly outspoken objection from the public.

Panic scenes at IKEA follow videos last week that show people in another part of Shanghai running out of a building due to rumors of an abnormal Covid test result.

Shanghai's citywide lockdown earlier this year saw widespread reports of food shortages and poor living conditions in quarantine centers.

Frustrated residents were filmed having heated fights with anti-epidemic staff and shouting from windows in protest of restrictions.

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