Ikea Shoppers in China Panic & Escape As Security Tries to Lock Down Store Due to COVID Risk

Shanghai: Videos have surfaced on social media showing chaotic scenes at an Ikea store in Shanghai with shoppers trying to escape as authorities tried to quarantine them. According to a BBC report, health authorities moved to lockdown the store after a close contact of a COVID-19 case was traced to the location. The incident took place in Xuhui district on Saturday. Videos show the guards closing the doors at one point, but a crowd forced them open and made their escape. Some other videos show locals yelling and pushing each other to get out of the building before the doors were locked as an announcement to lock down the mall blared over its sound system.Also Read – New IKEA Outlet in Bengaluru Witnesses Massive Weekend Rush, Customers Wait For 3 Hours

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The Ikea store’s sudden shutdown was ordered because a close contact of a six-year-old boy who tested positive after returning to Shanghai from Lhasa in Tibet had visited, Shanghai Health Commission deputy director Zhao Dandan said on Sunday. He did not say when the close contact was believed to have been at the store. Those who were at the store and related areas have been asked to quarantine for two days followed by five days of health monitoring.

Shanghai endured a severe two-month lockdown earlier this year. Since then, in line with the country’s strict “zero-Covid” strategy, the city of 20 million people has ordered flash lockdowns of areas where positive cases or their close contacts have been detected. Many have been locked down in unusual locations – including hot pot restaurants, gyms and offices, BBC reported.

Ikea’s customer service said on Sunday that the store was shut due to Covid curbs. The flagship Xuhui store, opened in 1998, was the Swedish furniture retailer’s first outlet in China. It now has 35 outlets across the country.

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