Residents under Covid lockdowns in areas across China are complaining of shortages of food and essential items.
Tens of millions of people in at least 30 regions have been ordered to stay at home under partial or full lockdowns.
China’s zero-Covid policy requires strict lockdowns even if just a handful of cases are reported.
The policy has prompted rare public dissent from citizens and has also been accused of stifling economic growth.
In Xinjiang, a weeks-long lockdown in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture near the border with Kazakhstan has seen desperate residents appeal for help on social media.
In Yining city, the capital of Ili, a shared online document with over 300 urgent requests for food, medicine and sanitary pads was widely circulated.
In south-western Guizhou province, authorities locked down an area of the provincial capital Guiyang without warning, stranding 500,000 residents at home without any chance to prepare.
Lifts were switched off in buildings to stop people from leaving, the Guardian newspaper reported.
“We can’t buy stuff online as they don’t deliver and supermarkets are closed. Is the government treating us like animals, or do they just want us to die?” asked one user on the Weibo microblogging platform, quoted by the Guardian.
Meanwhile, Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is the largest city to come under lockdown since Shanghai suffered two months of restrictions earlier this year
City officials say they are planning to lift restrictions in five areas of the city.
The multiple extended lockdowns come ahead of the National Party Congress in mid-October, a once-in-five-year event that will see top political members gather for the first time since the pandemic struck. Party officials are under immense pressure to make sure the event runs smoothly, and even small clusters of Covid are seen as a threat.—BBC