China: Altercations break out over food in Shanghai
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The robot, scurrying through the Shanghai streets, can be heard belting out the instructions like “Wear a mask. wash hands frequently, check temperature”. The dogs can also belt out slightly more intimidating messages such as ‘your behaviour has violated anti-pandemic rules” or “please go home immediately, or you will be punished in accordance with the law.” These robot dogs have been patrolling the streets of Shanghai, carrying loudspeakers blasting out the Covid safety messages to residents as cases soar in the city.
The bizarre clip of the robot dog has sparked a frenzy on social media.
Twitter user @notteardeem wrote: “can’t believe china found a use for those dystopian robot dogs that doesn’t turn them into tools of the police or military
Drew Roberts Jr tweeted: “So surreal over in America as we’re so over Covid. But in China, complete lockdowns, huge isolation centres for the locals who test positive, and robot dogs making AM announcements.”
And according to local news site The Paper, the robot canines are already encouraging locals to obey the commands as they reportedly feel they cannot disobey the dogs.
It comes as the city imposed a strict two-stage lockdown after recording over 30,000 cases in Mach.
Shanghai, which has a population of 26 million, has closed bridges and tunnels, and restricting highway traffic to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.
China is also known for its strict Covid protocols with city wide lockdowns being the norm.
The lockdown has even meant that half of the population are restricted from moving freely on alternate days to facilitate for its mass testing programme.
Those living in the eastern half of Shanghai, called, Pudong, have been instructed to stay at home since Monday, and will be allowed to live life as normal on Friday April 1.
This is the city’s financial district and also includes Shanghai’s main airport.
Those in the west, living in Puxi, will have lockdown rules apply to them from Friday,
Public transport is completely off limits in locked-down areas and It has work at firms and factories has also been stopped.
The lockdown also sparked a panic buying frenzy in Shanghai, with images exposing lengthy queues extended through supermarkets.
In what is known as the “Zero-Covid” policy, the intense lockdowns are aimed at keeping control of the highly transmissible sublineage of the Omicron variant, BA.2.
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The variant’s spread in the country China has caused headache for authorities grappling with the potential impact another lockdown could cause to the economy, as well as concerns over the public’s ‘pandemic fatigue’.
China’s National Health Commission issued new guidelines for local Governments to complete testing within designated areas within 24 hours.
It came after China’s President Xi Jinping said earlier this month that the country could achieve “maximum prevention and control” of the virus.
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