China’s Shanghai calls on public to share ‘heartwarming’ COVID-19 lockdown stories

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The government of Shanghai has called on citizens to share “heart-warming” photographs, videos and stories about a punishing two-month lockdown imposed in April by the authorities to curb China’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak.

The government of China’s most populous city has launched the propaganda campaign to “tell epidemic stories, spread volunteer culture and inherit the traditional values of solidarity, friendship and mutual help,” local newspaper Wen Hui Bao said on Saturday.

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The newspaper cited “touching” photos and videos of food supplies being donated to the elderly as examples of what the government was seeking.

Residents are encouraged to submit materials via the WeChat app through the end of the month, with the best entries to be included in an exhibition starting in August, the newspaper said.

Shanghai’s lockdown beginning in April kept millions of residents confined to their homes for around two months and sparked discontent and protest across the financial hub.

Online censorship intensified as residents complained about a lack of food and medical supplies, the forced relocation of COVID-positive people to quarantine facilities, and heavy-headed and often inconsistent enforcement of rules by district governments and residential committees.

Shanghai returned to a semblance of normality in early June, but residents still must undergo regular tests to enter shops and other public spaces. Many buildings and apartment complexes have again been sealed off to curb new transmission chains.

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