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Shanghai Covid-19: Video shows health worker beating dog to death after owner tests positive

A video of the beating at a residential complex in the city’s Pudong district was greeted with horror after it went viral on Chinese social media on Wednesday.

The clip, which appears to have been filmed by a resident of a nearby building, shows a Covid prevention worker, dressed head to toe in protective gear, chasing the corgi down a street and hitting it three times with a shovel. He then shows the dog lying motionless.

In two photos posted online, the corgi is seen running behind a bus that was supposed to take its owner to an isolation center. Another photo shows his body being carried away in a yellow plastic bag.

Several users have reposted and deleted the video and photos. CNN cannot identify the original user who uploaded the video.

The corgi’s owner was in quarantine at the time of the attack, according to state-run China News Weekly, and had left the dog on the streets after being unable to find anyone to care for the animal in his absence.

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Shanghai’s 25 million residents are in lockdown until further notice and facing several rounds of mass testing. Those who test positive face mandatory isolation.
“In the end, I thought I could let (the corgi) loose outside to become a stray, at least he wouldn’t starve,” he said. the owner wrote in an online group, explaining that he had no dog food left at home, according to China News Weekly. “I never thought that once we were gone, he would be beaten to death.”

He claimed that a neighborhood committee had refused to help care for the dog, the magazine reported. The committee said it was concerned the corgi might also have been infected.

“At the time, the workers did not consider (the matter) very fully. We will contact the owner and offer compensation at a later date.” the committee said in response, according to China News Weekly.

CNN has made several attempts to contact the committee.

The incident was widely reported on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. A hashtag on the subject was viewed tens of millions of times before it was removed from the highly censored site. place. The images sparked shock and anger, with many calling the dog’s slaughter cruel and unnecessary.

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International health authorities have said the risk of animal-to-human transmission is possible but low, and there is no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of Covid-19 to humans.

And China’s National Health Commission has stated that so far there is no evidence that people get Covid from pets.

“What good is compensation? That’s a life,” said a popular post on Weibo.

“Pets are family too,” wrote another user, a sentiment shared by many others.

Some even expressed something once considered unthinkable within the country: that China’s battle of zero covid had gone too far.

“We would rather live with a virus”

Throughout the pandemic, China has adhered to a zero covid policy that aims to wipe out all groups and chains of transmission through border controls, mass testing, strict quarantines and lockdowns. At times, it has resorted to extreme measures, including separating infected young children from their parents and banning residents from leaving their homes for weeks.

This policy has been widely popular with the public, with many feeling it was necessary to avoid the high death toll and economic collapses seen in other countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom.

This is not the first time a pet has been killed for fear of carrying the virus. Three cats met the same fate last September and another corgi last November. However, at the time, the reaction on social media was mixed: while some expressed sympathy and anger, others argued that killing the animals was necessary given the pandemic.

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This time, the reaction seems very different, with most online comments condemning the killing, perhaps a sign of the public’s waning patience as living conditions deteriorate under lockdown.

Many Shanghai residents have complained of not being able to access basic supplies such as food and medicine. Incidents of non-Covid patients with other emergencies dying before being able to receive medical care have been reported. And these frustrations have only been exacerbated by mixed messages from the Shanghai government, which insisted just two weeks ago that it had no plans for a full lockdown of the city.

For some, the death of the corgi was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

One Weibo user mocked the neighborhood committee’s response: “It’s been two years and they still think (the corgi) has the virus. Are these people not from Earth?”

Another user put it more forcefully: “We prefer to live with a virus than with this vicious and perverted person.”

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