February 9, 2023

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China Covid crackdown as man clings to couch in his home in confrontation | World | News

A harrowing clip shared on Chinese social media this week saw a desperate man being forcibly dragged out of his own home by Covid authorities. The man, living in Hangzhou, had refused to go to a quarantine facility, leading to the violent confrontation caught on camera. This comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping dismissed the recent protests as “mainly students,” in his first known remarks on the unrest rocking the country.

The Hangzhou altercation shows Chinese officials are continuing to brutally crack down on COVID-19, despite claiming to ease restrictions in other parts of the country.

The terrified man desperately gripped the couch while white hazmat-clad authorities tried to physically restrain him.

The two men scream at the man “put the mask on” as they urge him to cover his face despite being in his own home.

The man responds: “Don’t push me. Are you crazy?”

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Eventually, the two authorities pull the man up from his sofa with them wrapping their arms around him and forcing him to give in.

The woman who filmed the encounter ominously said that the authorities later “reprimanded and educated the relevant individual”. 

CNN’s Erin Burnett detailed the recent scenes shared on social media: “More footage has appeared of growing unrest in the country.

“People in Beijing are seen cutting chains in order to break free of the lockdown.

“In Hangzhou, a man is seen refusing to go to a quarantine centre.

Despite the brutal crackdown and enforcement of Covid rules, officials have announced some recent easing of restrictions in a dramatic U-turn on the long-held Covid-zero approach.

Major cities in China, such as Shenzhen and Beijing, are no longer requiring negative tests to take public transport.

In the capital, people can also travel to parks and supermarkets without checks.

Residents in Beijing are told they could now also quarantine at home – rather than a government facility – if they had come into contact with a case.

Last week, in the wake of the protests, Sun Chunlan, China’s vice-premier, announced that the country had “withstood the test” of COVID-19 and China was in a “new situation”.