Video footage shows a large crowd watching four men accused of breaking Omicron lockdown rules being paraded by police in Jingxi in the Guangxi region. The men were wearing masks and white hazmat suits.
Each was held by two police officers.
Their names and photographs were displayed for all to see on large placards attached to their medical-grade suits.
The Times reports that a person on a loudspeaker can be heard in video footage telling onlookers to adhere to Covid restrictions.
The alleged were followed by a column of officers in full riot gear.
Some of these were armed.
Jingxi City’s Public Security Bureau, quoted in the BBC, defended the exercise as an “on-site disciplinary warning activity”.
Sources added that there was no “inappropriateness”.
But other parts of the Chinese Communist Party media establishment expressed unease with the parade.
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Meanwhile, the 13million residents of Xi’an in the Shaanxi province have been told they must stay at home unless they are asked to take part in a round of Covid testing or must leave due to a medical emergency.
Some have taken to social media to claim they are starving to death due to the heavy restrictions.
Measures have been ramped up in the wake of the emergence of the Omicron Covid variant – both in China and across the world.
Scientists continue to work on discovering the characteristics of Omicron.
It is so far understood to spread more quickly but to be less severe than previous strains.
China has been widely criticised for its ‘zero-Covid’ policy as both impossible and greatly heavy-handed.