Protests over zero covid policy spread across China


Hundreds of protesters and police clashed in Shanghai as protests over China’s severe COVID-19 restrictions continued into the third day and spread to several other cities, Al Jazeera reported.

Protests against China’s ambitious zero-Covid policy sparked outrage in several cities, including the epicenter of the virus, Wuhan.

Videos on social media showed hundreds of Wuhan residents taking to the streets demanding an end to the lockdowns.

The demonstrations began after 10 people were killed in a fire in Urumqi, the capital of the western region of Xinjiang, which many of the protesters blame on prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns. The four million inhabitants of the city were not allowed to leave their homes for up to 100 days.

Officials have denied that the COVID-19 lockdown measures hampered escape and rescue efforts during the fire.

China’s case numbers have been hitting record levels for days, with more than 40,000 new cases reported by authorities every day for the past week.

Hundreds of people gathered in Shanghai on Sunday night, holding up blank sheets of paper as an expression of the censorship of the protest.

An accredited BBC reporter covering the protests was assaulted and detained for several hours, the UK public broadcaster said.


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