Chinese police have paraded alleged violators of the country’s Covid lockdown dressed in hazmat suits in a public shaming.
Extreme measures have been put in place in China to stop the spread of Covid as cases of the Omicron variant surges around the world.
In the city of Xi’an with 13 million habitats there have even been social media claims that people are starving due to not being allowed out to buy food.
Now four alleged violators have been walked through the city of Jingxi in Guangxi province in front of a large crowd.
Dressed in white hazmat suits they were surrounded by heavily armed police and wore placards showing photos of their face and their names.
China had banned the public shaming of alleged criminals in 2010 after human rights protests but it has been allowed as a disciplinary measure to deal with the Covid crisis.
The four in Jingxi have also been accused of moving illegal migrants while China’s borders remain closed, said Guangxi News.
The newspaper also said it was a “real-life warning” to the public and a deterrent over “border-related crimes”.
The Jingxi government website has also claimed that other alleged human traffickers have been paraded through the city recently.
In November a parade was held in front of a crowd where an official read out their supposed crimes via a microphone.
China has had a strict approach to dealing with Covid outbreaks dating back to the start in Wuhan with lockdowns.
New stricter rules have come in as part of a crackdown in China – although only 175 Covid cases have been reported in Xi’an on Tuesday.
Previously a member from each household was allowed to go out every other day to buy food.
But Xi’an residents have taken to social media and said that they are “starving” due to the lack of food available to families.
One person wrote on Weibo: “I’m about to be starved to death.
“There’s no food, my housing compound won’t let me out and I’m about to run out of instant noodles, please help!”
There were similar messages from other panic-stricken people in the city.