Shanghai Covid-19: Video shows a health worker beating a dog to death after the owner tested positive

A video of the beating at a residential area in Pudong district was met with horror after it went viral on Chinese social media on Wednesday.

The clip, which appears to have been filmed by a resident of a nearby building, shows a Covid prevention worker – dressed from head to toe in protective gear – chasing the corgi down a street and hitting it three times with a shovel. It then shows the dog lying motionless.

In two photos posted online, the corgi can be seen chasing after a bus said to be taking its owner to an isolation facility. Another photo shows his body being taken away in a yellow plastic bag.

The video and photos were reposted and deleted by several users. CNN cannot identify the original uploader of the video.

According to state-run China News Weekly, the corgi’s owner was in quarantine at the time of the attack and had released the dog onto the street after being unable to find anyone to take care of the animal while he was away.

All from Shanghai 25 million inhabitants are suspended until further notice and face multiple rounds of mass testing. Those who test positive face mandatory isolation.
“In the end I figured I could let[the corgi]go outside to become a stray, at least he wouldn’t starve,” he said Owner wrote in an online group stating he had run out of dog food at home, aloud China News Weekly. “I never thought it would be beaten to death once we left.”

He claimed a neighborhood committee refused to help care for the dog, the magazine reported. The committee said it was concerned the corgi could also be infected.

“Back then, the workers didn’t see[the matter]very broadly. We will communicate with the owner and offer compensation later.” the committee said in response, according to China News Weekly.

CNN has made several attempts to contact the committee.

The incident spread widely via Chinese social media platform Weibo. A hashtag on the subject received tens of millions of views before being removed from the highly censored list Side? site. The footage caused shock and anger, with many calling the dog’s killing cruel and unnecessary.

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International health authorities have said that the risk of animal-to-human transmission is possible but low, and there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of Covid-19 to humans.

And China’s National Health Commission has said there is no evidence so far of humans catching Covid from pets.

“What’s the use of compensation? That’s a life,” reads a popular post on Weibo.

“Pets are family too,” wrote another user – a sentiment shared by many others.

Some have even spoken out something once considered unthinkable in the country: that China’s zero-Covid fight had gone too far.

“We’d rather coexist with a virus”

Throughout the pandemic, China has adhered to a zero-Covid policy aimed at stamping out all clusters and chains of transmission through border controls, mass testing, quarantines and strict lockdowns. It has at times resorted to extreme measures, including separating infected young children from their parents and banning residents from leaving their homes for weeks.

This policy was very popular with the public as many felt it was necessary to avoid the high death toll and economic collapse seen in other countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom.

This isn’t the first time a pet has been killed for fear it carries the virus. Three cats met the same fate last September and another Corgi last November. At the time, however, reactions on social media were mixed – although some expressed sympathy and anger, others argued that killing the animals was necessary given the pandemic.

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This time around, the reaction appears to be very different, with most online comments condemning the murder – perhaps a sign of the public’s waning patience as living conditions deteriorate under lockdown.

Many Shanghai residents have complained that they do not have access to basic necessities such as food and medicine. Incidents of non-Covid patients with other emergencies who died before they could receive medical attention have been reported. And those frustrations were compounded by mixed messages from the Shanghai government, which just two weeks ago insisted it had no plans for a citywide lockdown.

For some, the corgi’s death was the last straw.

One Weibo user mocked the neighborhood committee’s response: “It’s been two years, and they still think[the corgi]has the virus. Aren’t these people from Earth?”

Another user put it bluntly: “We’d rather coexist with a virus than this vicious and perverted person.”

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