Chinese SWAT teams have been filmed throwing nets over people’s heads as they practise how to deal with unco-operative coronavirus patients.
Footage of a staged incident at an official checkpoint in Henan province shows a team of imposing officers, wielding firearms and riot shield, intercepting a suspected COVID-19 case.
The mask-wearing driver is questioned by police as part of the practice exercise, and when he fails to cooperate is stopped and forced from his vehicle before what looks like a common fishing net is thrown over his head.
Unable to counter the dramatic intervention, the hapless victim is surrounded by officials – with some of the police wearing uniforms with the word SWAT written on them in English.
The footage was posted on Weibo – the Chinese equivalent of Twitter – and TikTok by the local security authority.
In the video caption, the Tongbai County’s Municipal Public Security Bureau says: “To win the epidemic defence, Tongyang police had armed exercises.”
Henan is on particularly high alert for coronavirus cases as it borders Hubei, which is the epicentre of the outbreak.
The vast majority of the more than 79,000 cases worldwide are in mainland China – and most of those are in Hubei, specifically the city of Wuhan.
China has warned it will not be shy of taking action against those who do not take all possible measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Earlier this month, local officials in the city of Kunshan were seen forcibly removing people from their apartment following their refusal to self-isolate.
Chinese state media have also warned that everyone returning to the capital Beijing must self-isolate two weeks or face punishment – although they did not specify how.
As China continues to fine tune its coronavirus containment techniques, concerns are growing about the spread of the deadly illness in the UK and Europe.
Austria is assembling a coronavirus taskforce to discuss whether to introduce border controls with Italy, where a fourth person has died amid the biggest COVID-19 outbreak on the continent.
And in the UK, Britons rescued from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship off the coast of Japan have expressed anger after four fellow passengers tested positive for the illness, despite being cleared to travel home.
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