Lockdown measures in place in Shanghai have been described as 'dystopian' after a drone was filmed telling residents to 'control their soul's desire for freedom'.
China's biggest city was placed under a total lockdown earlier this week, with 26 million residents banned from leaving their homes for any reason as the government deals with the country's largest Covid-19 outbreak yet.
Now, a new video shared to social media platform Weibo has revealed just how tough the restrictions have become.
The clip, which unlike several others critical of the lockdown has not been removed by censors, shows residents in an apartment complex taking to their balconies to sing and protest the lack of supplies, in scenes reminiscent of those seen in Italy two years ago.
However, the communal spirit is soon stamped out by a government drone, which flies over the apartment blocks delivering a message.
"Please comply with Covid restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing," a recorded announcement stated, according to The Economist's Alice Su.
The message has sparked comparisons to a range of dystopian films and TV series, with one person tweeting: "Being scolded by drones with the message to ‘control your soul’s desire for freedom’ makes Black Mirror look dated."
"This is some Blade Runner dystopian s**t," another user wrote in response to the video, with a third pointing out the mixed messages of the demand, tweeting 'ironically fresh air is essential for eradicating covid'.
The strict lockdown measures in Shanghai have seen residents struggling to order food, water and medicines, which can now only be accessed through booking government-run deliveries, which are said to be growing scarce due to the scale of demand.
As a result, rare protests have broken out in the city, with some residents taking to the street to confront police and call for an end to the confinement.
As well as drones and a heavy police presence, Chinese authorities have been making use of other technologies, including its hi-tech surveillance system and even robot dogs, which have been seen roaming the streets with megaphones taped to their backs broadcasting messages encouraging residents to follow protocols.
China has continued to employ a 'zero Covid' strategy throughout the pandemic, using citywide lockdowns to stamp out outbreaks. However, the Shanghai outbreak has continued to grow despite the tough measures in place, with 20,000 cases reported in the city on Thursday (7 April).
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