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China, Guangzhou. Officials broke locks during epidemic control, now they apologize

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Chinese officials apologized to Guangzhou residents for removing locks on the doors of more than 80 apartments. It happened during an epidemic control. Recordings showing broken locks aroused the anger of residents who accused officials of lawlessness.

In Guangzhou in the Southeast China several people from one apartment complex tested positive for presence coronavirus. In the course of the epidemic investigation, officials searched for people with whom the infected had contact, who could be hiding, thus avoiding quarantine.

As it turns out, the inspection went a step too far – according to Tianmu News, locks on the doors of at least 84 apartments were damaged by officials and social workers. This happened on July 10, shortly after a group of people was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Guangzhou, ChinaALEX PLAVEVSKI / EPA / PAP

Recordings of damaged locks have been posted on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, among others. They caused waves of outrage, and some people demanded the arrest of those involved in the burglaries. “Is this a country where the law applies?” one user asked, “an apology is not enough” said another. Among the comments one could also read about “lawlessness” and “violation of civil rights”.

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The Liwan District authorities in Guangzhou apologized for the incidents, noting that the break-ins “deviated from the rules governing epidemic prevention.” It was assured that the case would be investigated and that those involved would be punished. The residents were to be informed that they would receive compensation for the damage caused.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, China maintained a so-called “zero covid” tactic of complete elimination of the virus. The BBC reports that authorities did not give much information prior to lockdown orders, which caused anger and anxiety among citizens. It was mentioned that some lockdowns lasted for months, e.g. in Shanghai at the beginning of the year.

>> Over two thousand tourists have been stuck in a lockdown resort

Main photo source: ALEX PLAVEVSKI / EPA / PAP

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