5 million people join a joyful 'virtual disco dance' on the eve of Puxi's lockdown in Shanghai
Published: Apr 01, 2022 01:31 AM
Photo: Screenshot of TudiMusic

Photo: Screenshot of TudiMusic

Over 5 million people on Thursday night joined a "virtual disco dance" with many Shanghai residents participating and sending best wishes before the city starts a second phase of closed-loop management from 3 am on Friday.

Many Shanghai residents shared their "exciting" moments with their friends via WeChat Moments on Thursday night. Unlike normal days with virtual disco dancing on the livestreaming platform TudiMusic, a public WeChat account operated by individuals, many comments with emojis of vegetables, fruits and even daily commodities such as spittoons filled the comment board.

Around 11 pm on Thursday, there were over 3 million people joining in the live-streaming virtual disco dance. However, 2 million more joined in the later two hours. Residents from different regions covering Pudong, Minhang, Jing'an districts of Shanghai "swung" emojis of vegetables, chicken wings and beer on the comments area to cheer up Shanghai given that grabbing vegetables poses a big challenge for people under lockdown.

Some left messages in the comment area to thank the neighboring provinces and cities for their aid to Shanghai for combatting the virus.

"The comment area has been occupied by Shanghai residents, which surprised me a lot; from what they were saying, we can see Shanghainese people's positive vibes," a local Shanghai resident surnamed Jiang told the Global Times on Friday. "I feel the atmosphere of Chinese Spring Festival and wish everybody happiness."

The financial hub is battling with a COVID-19 outbreak caused by the Omicron variant on its toughest moments. Some left messages joking that it would be a "sleepless night for Shanghai people." 

The city's next phase of closed-loop management starts on Friday in Puxi, Shanghai's west side of the Huangpu River, until April 5, covering over 16 million people in 12 districts that will undergo a mass nucleic acid screening.

Some netizens said they still have hope and look forward for the city to be normal soon, although some Shanghai residents struggled to purchase fresh vegetables online every day due to the limited delivery capacity under the closed-loop management.

"This disco dance offers an outlet for emotions," another netizen wrote. "Cheer up Shanghai, let's stand together," one netizen wrote. As of early morning Friday, over 5 million residents had joined the virtual disco dance. 

"Shanghai has the nickname 'Modu' in Chinese which represents the city's vitality, even in face of the epidemic," a Shanghai resident surnamed Jin who also joined the virtual disco dance told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Shanghai authorities announced on Thursday night that starting Saturday, residents leaving the city are required to show a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test within 48 hours and a negative antigen test within 24 hours. Nucleic acid and antigen test results will be checked at the city's airports, docks, railway stations and highways. 

Closed-loop management will continue in some areas of Shanghai's Pudong, Punan (south of Huangpu River) and adjacent regions from Friday if positive cases are found during the mass screening of the last four days under the first phase of the closed-loop management conducted in the city.

In an open letter released on Thursday morning, the Shanghai government said pandemic prevention and control and the residents' wellbeing have been the city's top priority.