At least ten people were killed and nine others injured in a house fire in the northwest Chinese city of Urumqi. The authorities announced on Saturday. Videos circulating on the internet showed huge flames blazing out of the windows on the 15th floor of an apartment building. The fire broke out on Thursday.
Large parts of the Xinjiang region, whose capital is Ürümqi, have been in the corona lockdown for more than 100 days. A number of Chinese criticized on social networks that the rigid measures in the apartment fire had made the rescue more difficult. Residents wrote that the residents had been made more difficult to escape by locked apartment doors. In addition, some fled their homes too late or not at all for fear of violating the prescribed curfews. Firefighters arrived late due to lattice fences and cars standing in the way.
Protests against strict lockdown
During the night, several videos circulated on China's social media purporting to show protests against the lockdowns in Ürümqi. The recordings cannot be checked independently.
China is currently suffering from the highest corona numbers since the beginning of the pandemic. The Health Commission in Beijing also reported a record number of almost 35,000 new cases on Saturday. Extensive restrictions on movement apply in cities with over a million inhabitants such as Beijing, the hard-hit southern Chinese city of Guangzhou or in Chongqing.
While the rest of the world has long been living with the virus, China remains steadfast in its strict zero-Covid strategy. Residential areas are cordoned off in individual cases. Contact persons come to quarantine camps. Infected people are isolated in the hospital.