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Covid: locked up against his will, a Frenchman recounts the hell of Chinese quarantine centers


A French expatriate in China recounts the very precarious living conditions of Covid patients, locked up in huge quarantine centers. In Shanghai, the young man has neither hot water, nor soap, nor even a minimum of privacy.

“There is no day or night because the lights never go out”… This is an edifying testimony that Thomas, a young French expatriate in China, confided to our colleagues from TF1. He recounts the hell of the quarantine centers opened in the country to forcibly isolate patients with Covid-19.

A hangar transformed into an isolation center

The “Zero Covid” strategy put in place by Beijing indeed involves drastic measures for which the Frenchman is now paying the price. Tested positive, Thomas was taken against his will to one of the huge isolation centers in Shanghai. With his smartphone, he tries to alert on the living conditions on site.

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On his images, we discover a huge hangar transformed into a dormitory where at least a thousand people are piled up according to TF1. Spartan boxes have been fitted out. A partition one meter high, and two beds separated by two garbage cans. “We can’t go outside, we’re really locked up. (…) The hardest part is getting to sleep. (…) It’s very noisy. The lights never go out”.

No shower, no hot water or privacy

The French designer also denounces deplorable hygiene conditions. No shower, no hot water or soap… the residents of this quarantine center have to make do with basins and wipes, without any privacy. The young man also explains that three meal trays a day are offered to the sick, but that the waste is struggling to be evacuated.

And Thomas does not really know when he will be able to leave this hell. Because if his symptoms have disappeared, he must be able to justify several negative tests over several days to be able to leave the center … and go and lock himself up at home, the city of Shanghai being confined again.

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