COVID rule-breakers in China forced to parade through streets

COVID “rule-breakers” in China are paraded through the streets by armed police in a brutal crackdown, reports say.

Pictures reportedly show four people wearing masks and hazmat suits – who are alleged to have flouted the country’s strict lockdown rules – being marched in front of crowds in the city of Jingxi yesterday.

The public shaming involved each suspect being held by two cops while more riot police with guns watched on.

The four suspects in Jingxi were also accused of transporting illegal migrants as the country’s borders remain largely closed due to Covid, Guangxi News reports.

The sinister parade provided a “real-life warning” to the public and “deterred border-related crimes” in the city which is close to the border with Vietnam, local media reports.

Meanwhile, the Chinese city of Xi’an was raised to the “strictest” level in an effort to control the country’s worst outbreak in 21 months.

Although no cases of the Omicron variant have yet been detected in Xi’an, the government remains on edge that any outbreak could threaten the Winter Olympics in February.

The latest announcement from the Communist Party stated that no vehicles would be allowed on the roads unless they were assisting with disease control work.

Riot police marched the four suspects in front of crowds in Jingxi.

Health officials and police will “strictly inspect” cars on the roads and those who break the rules could face ten days in detention and a 500 yuan fine ($78).

Although cases are small compared to the level of infections seen in Europe, the Chinese government ordered all residents to stay at home last Thursday.

Beijing ordered open spaces, buildings and roads to be disinfected after 150 new cases were reported on Sunday and 155 on Saturday.

Residents say they are facing starvation after they were banned from going outside to get food.

Officials in Xi’an on Monday told its 13 million inhabitants they were only allowed out from their homes when invited to take part in a new round of mass COVID testing, or for medical emergencies.

Before the severe measures were introduced, one member from each household was allowed out once every two days to buy food.

Xi’an recorded 175 new cases on Tuesday as China continues its “zero Covid” policy.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.