Harrowing footage has emerged of a desperate foreigner being detained by four hazmat-wearing officials in Shanghai during the Chinese city’s strict Covid-19 lockdown.
Evidence that Shanghai’s month-long zero-Covid isolation has become almost unbearable for many of the city’s 25 million people is coming out of the country on an almost daily basis on China‘s heavily censored internet.
The widely circulated video – since taken down – showed a Caucasian man trying to break through metal barriers onto a Shanghai street at night, before being pulled back and dragged to the ground by the four people in protective hazmat suits.
‘I want to die,’ the clearly distressed man shouted repeatedly in a mix Mandarin, French and English, with an accent that some viewers suggested was French.
One of the people holding him down responded: ‘You came to China, you need to respect the laws and regulations here.’ Another tells him: ‘Calm down, calm down.’
The man repeated ‘I want to die’ dozens of times as he continued to struggle against the hazmat-wearing Covid police, before seemingly giving up and accepting his fate. He could be heard crying while he was pinned to the floor.
At one point, speaking in French, the man could be heard saying ‘à l’hopital’- or ‘to the hospital’. He also shouted ‘nobody cares’, repeating: ‘I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to kill myself now. It doesn’t matter, look. I’m going to kill myself.’
However, at one point the officers appeared to let their guard down, thinking the man had relaxed. They briefly took their hands off him while he was sitting in the middle of a blocked off back street.
The man saw his opportunity and made another break for it, charging down the street – only to crash into a metal barrier and be detained once again.