Chaos in Shanghai airport after workers sealed in for Covid-19 testing

Staffers waiting to be tested for Covid-19.

Sumita Thiagarajan | November 23, 2020, 06:38 PM

Editor's note (Nov. 24, 12pm): The headline and details in the article are edited and updated to include additional news sources.

Thousands of workers have been sealed in Shanghai's Pudong International Airport for testing after two staffers were found to be positive for Covid-19 on Sunday (Nov. 22), according to The Washington Post.

However, not all are co-operating with the officials, as videos of chaos breaking out in the airport were uploaded on social media.

People allegedly fleeing airport to avoid quarantine

In videos uploaded by several Twitter users, hoards of workers could be seen pushing against health officials in hazmat suits.

The workers in the white hazmat suits appeared outnumbered and are seen forming a barrier by linking hands to keep crowds in the airport.

According to Global Times, the videos posted to social media depicted people waiting to get tested for Covid-19 at the underground parking lot at Pudong International Airport.

The tests were ordered by Shanghai authorities after five cases linked to the airport were confirmed, the New York Times reported.

The Covid-19 cases included three workers and two of their spouses.

Clips of the chaotic scenes quickly circulated on popular Chinese social media platforms Weibo and WeChat, where netizens  criticised the airport for not having taken the basic safe distancing measures.

A spokesperson from the airport declined to say if the staff were still held at the airport, quarantined, or have returned home, The Washington Post reported.

At least 7 cases of Covid-19 amongst airport staff

Since the mass testing of all staff at the airport from Sunday, several cargo staff at the airport and their close contacts have been found to be positive for Covid-19, with at least seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 among Pudong International Airport staff, reported Global Times.

It was also reported that around 277 flights into Shanghai were cancelled on Nov. 22, with congestion along the road to the airport.

Health authorities worry that the virus might be imported through international logistics.

Global Times also reported that most airport staff gathered to be tested on Sunday, and that all staff in the airport main cargo zone were required to take nucleic acid tests by midnight that day.

As winter is approaching, outbreaks of Covid-19 have been observed across China.

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