Haizhu District in Guangzhou, southeast China, is going through a lockdown under the country’s strict “zero-COVID” policy. A woman went outside without a mask. After arguing with COVID workers, she was tied up and made to kneel in public. The case aroused harsh public criticism.

Some Chinese citizens who witnessed the matter said the event happened on Thursday, November 17. At around 1 p.m. in Luntou Village, Haizhu District, two women went out to buy food. The woman in the gray outfit was not wearing a mask. The COVID workers stopped her. The two parties began quarreling. 

During the altercation, a COVID worker knocked one woman to the ground. They tied the other woman’s hand from behind and forced her to her knees. 

The woman kneeling on the ground wore clothes that exposed her naval, so they put a blue cloth around her body to cover it up.

Many Chinese netizens criticized the COVID workers for overreaction. They said the workers did not have the power to tie two women up for not wearing a mask, let alone force one woman to kneel on the ground.

The netizens said the legal way to deal with this is to detain two women according to law, not tie them up and force them to kneel for public display like that. 

Since the pandemic broke out in 2019, China has been following a strict “zero-COVID” policy to stop the pandemic, which has caused a lot of social disasters. COVID workers casually broke into people’s homes, dragging them en masse into buses at midnight, forcing them to quarantine in unhygienic square cabins.

Chinese human rights lawyer Wu Shaoping told Chinese language media Da Ji Yuan that under China’s extreme zero-COVID policy, many measures go against the Constitution and tread on fundamental human rights.

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