China chaos: Shanghai locals erupt into fist fight as Covid lockdown sparks panic buying

China: Altercations break out over food in Shanghai

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Footage has emerged online showing supermarket shelves completely emptied out of all products as millions are locked down for mass testing. The city of Shanghai was split into two using the Huangpu River as local officials declared a two-part lockdown in response to a concerning surge of coronavirus cases across China. Video showed row after barren row of a local supermarket as customers wait around in hope of securing further stocks.

Additional footage captured the moment two men erupted into a fight near fresh produce stands.

Video from a local market shows crowds pushing each other towards the front of a stall to grab extra supplies, with people heard clamoring as they argue with other bystanders.

And more footage showed a large stockpile of fresh produce laying onto the floor of what appears to be a private flat as the person recording laughed at the supplies he gathered.

The snap lockdown will split the city in two roughly along the Huangpu River for nine days to allow for staggered testing.

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A record 3,450 asymptomatic COVID cases were reported in Shanghai on Sunday, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the nationwide total, along with 50 symptomatic cases, the city government said on Monday.

The city’s Public Security Bureau said it was closing cross-river bridges and tunnels, and highway tollbooths concentrated in the city’s eastern districts through April 1.

The bureau said traffic controls would be implemented on highways into and out of the city, requiring people leaving Shanghai to show proof of negative results from nucleic acid tests taken within 48 hours.

The city government said on Sunday it would suspend public transport, including ride-hailing services, in locked-down areas. 

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Shanghai officials also ordered the suspension of work at firms and factories, with the exception of those offering public services or supplying food.

The recent surge of COVID cases in China has added to pressure on the world’s second-largest economy, likely further chilling consumer spending.

China’s National Health Commission on Monday reported 5,134 new asymptomatic cases for March 27, and 1,219 local confirmed infections.

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A member of Shanghai’s expert COVID team told a briefing on Monday recent mass testing had found “large scale” infections throughout the city, triggering a stronger response.

Wu Fan said: “Containing the large scale outbreak in our city is very important because once infected people are put under control, we have blocked transmission,”

Ms Wu added that testing would be carried out until all hidden risks are eliminated.

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