Shanghai's strict Covid lockdown blocks desperate firefighters

·Associate News Editor
·3-min read

Alarming video has emerged appearing to show Shanghai firefighters struggling to access a fire due to the extreme Covid measures in place.

Green fences swiftly erected as cases soared in the city have become synonymous with Shanghai's daunting lockdown in recent weeks, introduced by authorities to largely keep residents of housing units and communities from leaving.

Unverified footage circulating online shows fire crews desperately trying to access a building on fire but are halted by a fence blocking the entire road.

Filmed from a nearby apartment, firefighters rush from their vehicles and attempt to force the fence down.

Crews struggled to get access to a fire due to a green fence erected across the road to keep residents contained. Source: Weibo
Crews struggled to get access to a fire due to a green fence erected across the road to keep residents contained. Source: Weibo

One firefighter manages to eventually flatten the fence, and assisted by another, holds it down to allow a truck to drive through.

The camera then turns to the smoke billowing from the building with the iconic Shanghai Tower and 'Bottle Opener' building in the distance.

Beijing has faced mounting criticism in recent weeks over its relentless Covid-zero strategy, with Shanghai residents protesting over the conditions they are facing – a level of resistance rarely seen in China.

A raft of disturbing videos of residents being bolted into their homes and even pets brutally killed have circulated on Chinese social media before China's authoritarian control over internet activity swiftly intervened, triggering further outrage from within China and the rest of the world.

And the video of the firefighter's struggle was no different, prompting anger from those online.

"Stupidity," one person proclaimed.

"The city's management is a joke," another said.

"Locking people in their apartment compounds is one thing, but what's the point in putting barricades on roads?" one person asked.

While Shanghai authorities made a rare admission last month there could have been better decisions made in its response to its Omicron wave, China's message has largely been one of resolution, urging its residents to stick with its relentless Covid strategy.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 26 2022: A view of the wire fence installed to keep residents inside a condo building as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Shanghai, China Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2022. (Photo credit should read YUYU CHEN/ Feature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Green fences have been erected across the entire city to contain residents. Source: Reuters

Firefighters needed only 5 minutes to extinguish fire

Chinese state media reported the fire broke out at a noodle shop in a community on Boshan Road in the Pudong area of the city on Wednesday.

Authorities said crews arrived at 4.43pm with the fire extinguished at 4.48pm.

While there was no mention of injuries in reports, state media said there were no casualties.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Shanghai authorities have begun easing Covid restrictions as cases continue to fall, with zero cases recorded for five days straight outside quarantined areas of the city.

Earlier this week daily cases in the city dropped below 1,000 for the first time since March 24.

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