Chaos ensued at an Ikea outlet in Shanghai after security announced a flash lockdown due to potential COVID-19 exposure last weekend.
The incident occurred at an Ikea in Shanghai’s Xuhui district on Saturday. Health officials ordered the outlet to commence a flash lockdown after authorities learned that one shopper had been in contact with a positive case –
a 6-year-old boy from Lhasa in Tibet – according to Shanghai Health Commission deputy director Zhao Dandan on Sunday.
Around 400 close contacts of the asymptomatic boy were traced, while 80,000 people were ordered to take PCR tests, Shanghai Daily reported.
Although Zhao did not specify when the close contact visited the store, he said that everyone located in the building and its surrounding areas was required to quarantine for two days, followed by five days of health monitoring.
A recent Twitter video shows panicked shoppers trying to leave the outlet, attempting to force their way past the blockade of security guards at the exit. The video, which was posted on Monday, has already received more than 146,000 views.
Citing eyewitness reports on Chinese social media, Bloomberg reported that some shoppers were stuck inside the building for around four hours before they were transported to quarantine hotels.
In a statement to CNN, Ikea’s China communications team said the store was closed on Sunday and Monday due to “epidemic prevention guidelines” from the Chinese health authorities. The store opened its doors again on Tuesday.
Shanghai health authorities reported six locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Monday, five of which were asymptomatic.