Outcry as Chinese lockdown traps residents during earthquake

By Frances Mao

Footage showing that some residents in the earthquake-hit Chinese city of Chengdu were stopped from fleeing their compounds due to a Covid lockdown has sparked anger and disbelief online.

Some in Chengdu say they were told to stay inside through a 6.6-magnitude earthquake on Monday that has killed at least 65 people.

Those that ran out say they found the exits shut due to Covid restrictions.

Chengdu, home to 21 million people, is currently under strict lockdown rules.

China has a so-called zero Covid-19 policy, meaning that lockdowns are routinely imposed in communities when cases of the virus are detected.

In some instances, apartment buildings where at least one person has tested positive for Covid have been designated “sealed areas” – where residents are forbidden from setting foot outside their homes whether or not they have the virus.

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