A drone apparently equipped with a loudspeaker was deployed in Shanghai, China, to warn the city of 26 million people to “control your soul’s desire for freedom” after residents took to their balconies to sing in protest of new lockdown measures in place.
Alice Su, Senior China Correspondent for The Economist, tweeted video of the drone and a translation of the disturbing Chinese message.
“As seen on Weibo: Shanghai residents go to their balconies to sing & protest lack of supplies. A drone appears: ‘Please comply w covid restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing.’”
City officials in Shanghai called the COVID-19 outbreak “extremely grim” despite confining millions of residents to their homes, The Associated Press reported.
Gu Honghui, director of the city’s working group on epidemic control, said that “the situation is extremely grim” and the virus is “still running at a high level” in Shanghai.
Some residents have been locked down for weeks as thousands of healthcare workers from around China conduct mass testing. The Chinese government also deployed 2,000 troops to assist with the effort.
Gu said every resident must be tested and analyzed before officials reevaluate mitigation measures that are currently in place.
“Before that, citizens are asked to continue following the current lockdown measures and stay in their homes except for medical and other emergency situations,” Gu said.
The city recorded 13,354 new cases on Monday, with the vast majority being asymptomatic. The total number of cases in the new wave topped 73,000 since last month.
No one has died as a result of the latest outbreak.
Meanwhile, Shanghai officials announced on Wednesday that some parents will be allowed to stay with their children infected with COVID-19.
The AP reported that a top city health officials said parents can apply to remain with their children if they have “special needs.”
However, the parents must wear masks, eat at a different time than their infected children, and cannot share items with them. The Shanghai Municipal Health Commission’s Wu Qianyu did not explain what “special needs” meant.
Residents in the city are also voicing concerns about food and supply shortages as the lockdown continues.
“We see a severe shortage of living necessities, particularly fresh vegetables, and citizens are unable to get their deliveries via their apps,” said Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, chair of the Shanghai chapter of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China. “Another really big fear is ending up in one of those mass central quarantine sites.”