China has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks which has put quite a strain on the country’s economy. Shanghai in particular launched a planned two-stage lockdown of the city of 26 million people on Monday, closing bridges and tunnels, and restricting highway traffic to contain surging cases. China is also known for its strict Covid protocols with city wide lockdowns being the norm.
Now, a video has surfaced online which shows a robot patrolling the streets of Shanghai on four legs and making announcements to the residents of a street. Twitter user Eric Feigl-Ding posted the video with the caption: “Robot roaming the streets making health announcements in #Shanghai during lockdown.”
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) March 31, 2022
While some users were horrified and commented on the dystopic nature of the setting, many found the robot “adorable” with one twitter user even saying “I, for one, welcome our insect-puppy overlords.”
The city government has suspended public transport, including ride-hailing services, in locked-down areas. It has also ordered the suspension of work at firms and factories, with the exception of those offering public services or supplying food.
The local government has further said it would try its best to prevent the pandemic from spreading further and secure daily necessities and medical services for everyone. In a letter to the city’s residents, the Shanghai government said it was grateful for the citizens’ efforts and acknowledged their sacrifices, as it sticks with China’s “dynamic clearance” approach – detecting the virus, tracing contacts and centrally quarantining all positive cases.
“Pandemic prevention and control work have brought much inconvenience to people,” it said in the letter, posted to its official WeChat social media account on Thursday.
“Some of you have been in quarantine and lockdown for a long time. The city deeply appreciates everyone’s understanding and cooperation.”