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Backlash in China after authorities raid homes to find ‘close contacts’ of those infected with COVID

China’s authorities apologized after raiding homes of people who were forced to enter quarantine hotels to search for ‘close contacts’ hiding in order to get them to apologise.

After more than 500 cases were confirmed, around 2,000 people were asked to extend their stay in a resort.

These moves are part the country’s tough-line approach to COVID-19. They focus on the controversial zero- COVID approach which includes strict quarantines, almost constant testing, and almost daily monitoring.

Local media reported that authorities broke into 84 homes in Guangzhou to search for people trying to evade quarantine and disinfect the property.

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Later, the doors were resealed with new locks.

The Liwan district government of the mega-city apologized for its “oversimplified, violent” behavior, Global Times newspaper reported. It also said that an investigation was underway and that “relevant persons” would be harshly punished.

Around 2,000 tourists were forced to stay longer in Beihai, a tourist resort in the southern part of the country. This was after 500 people were tested positive for COVID-19. They were then banned from leaving the country.

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According to local authorities, it was difficult to find hotels for the people who were visiting the area. However, airlines and accommodation offered refunds to those who had already paid.

Social media has documented several instances of people being robbed of their keys, breaking down doors and steel barriers to stop them leaving their homes. This happened often after people have tested negative.

These strict protocols are part the larger control of the population exercised by the Chinese Communist Party (which controls law enforcement and media).

Many cities spent months locked up in the last year. Some restricted access to food, healthcare and housing – especially in Shanghai.

After residents of Beijing criticized the plan, which would have allowed only vaccinated to enter public spaces in Beijing, a councilor reversed it last week.

Despite this, transmission rates in mainland China remain low. The National Health Commission reported 699 cases in the last 24 hour of domestic transmission – the majority of which were asymptomatic.

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