Shanghai has been hard hit with rising COVID cases and growing public complaints about food and medicine shortages. One of the city’s top officials recently received criticism from its residents for failing to deal with the outbreak.

On April 9, Shanghai Vice Mayor Zong Ming publicly admitted at a briefing on epidemic prevention and control that the city authorities had not done enough to cope with the outbreak. She added that there was a big gap between the citizens’ expectations.

As she delivered her speech, the vice mayor seemed to be choking.

However, her briefing received widespread attention and faced backlash from Chinese internet users. Instead of gaining sympathy, her ‘choking’ quickly topped the hot search list on Baidu and Weibo.

The Chinese-language edition of the Deutsche Welle quoted several comments from Chinese social media. In a post that received over 20,000 likes, a person wrote, “Tears are the most useless things. At this time, doing more things and arranging people’s livelihood is more useful than tears. It’s hard to know you, but it doesn’t mean it can be covered up. Your mistakes and deficiencies in your work….” Others said, “If crying is useful, I want to cry too. Where are the supplies, and where is the day when the lockdown is lifted!” or “You are just starving to death, but the deputy mayor is crying.”

The South China Morning Post reported that Shanghai rewrote a new daily record for Covid-19 infections, with over 26,000 new cases on April 11.

After Shanghai was closed, its people suffered from a lack of food and medical supplies. As a result, many people have taken to the internet to express their discontent.

Some even took it directly to the officials. During Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier of the Chinese regime’s visit to Shanghai on April 2, some residents greeted her with shouts from their windows, saying, “There’s no food left!” and “We’re starving to death!” Others called out to her and her staff, “Can you arrange some vegetables to be sent over?”

The public outcry comes as China embarks on a challenging phase of its Zero-COVID policy campaign. The highly transmissible Omicron BA.2 strain has expanded to unprecedented levels in China.

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