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Anti-government protests against Covid-19 measures in Shanghai

Hundreds of young people took to the streets of Shanghai on Saturday night to protest against the Chinese government's strict coronavirus containment measures.

Hundreds of young people took to the streets of Shanghai on Saturday night to protest against the Chinese government’s strict coronavirus containment measures.

Demonstrators shouted, among other things: “Down with the Communist party! Down with [President] Xi Jinping!” in videos shared online.

There is also footage showing several people being taken away by the police.

The protests, highly unusual in the Communist-ruled country with more than 1.4 billion inhabitants, were apparently triggered by anger over a deadly fire that broke out in a residential building in Ürümqi in which at least 10 people were killed earlier in the week.

Several residents said on social media that the restrictions had hampered rescue efforts, with some people struggling to escape the burning building due to locked doors.

Some also left their apartments too late, or not at all, out of fear of violating the lockdown restrictions, according to reports.

Large parts of the Xinjiang region and its capital, Ürümqi, have been under lockdown for more than 100 days.

In that time, there have been protests in several parts of the country. Residents in several Beijing neighbourhoods also broke through the fences around their residential complexes and demanded an end to the lockdowns.

China is currently seeing its highest Covid-19 case numbers since the beginning of the pandemic. On Sunday, the health commission in Beijing reported a record number of more than 39,000 new cases.

Extensive restrictions on movement are currently in place in multiple cities with more than 1 million inhabitants, such as Beijing, the severely affected southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and Chongqing.

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