Police in southern China were seen parading four violators through the streets after they broke COVID-19 rules, which led to criticism of the government’s approach.
The four people were wearing masks and hazmat suits as they walked through the streets in Guangxi region’s Jingxi city. Each person also had a poster displaying their photos and names.
Photos and videos of the event show each suspect being held by two officers. They were surrounded by other officers in gear, some with guns.
Local government announced in August that public shaming would become part of the disciplinary measures used to punish those breaking health rules.
Daily Mail reported that “China banned such public shaming of criminal suspects in 2010 after decades of campaigning by human rights activists, but the practice has resurfaced as local governments struggle to enforce the national zero-Covid policy”.
According to Guangxi News, the four individuals were also accused of transporting illegal migrants while China’s borders remain mostly closed. The newspaper claimed the parade provided a ‘real-life warning’ and ‘deterred border-related crimes’.
In many of China’s cities, residents are fearful of starvation since they were banned from going outside even to buy food.
On Monday, leaders running the city of Xi’an told residents they are only allowed to leave home if invited to take part in a round of mass testing or for medical emergencies.
Xi’an has reported 810 COVID cases this month, which is China’s largest outbreak since the virus first emerged in Wuhan.