Protests erupt in Xinjiang over COVID lockdowns

STORY: Videos circulating on Chinese social media showed residents in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, quarrelling with officials enforcing lockdown measures, chanting "lift the COVID lockdown" and breaking through barriers put in placed by authorities.

The location of the videos were verified by buildings which matched street view of the areas. Reuters was not able to independently verify the date when the footage were filmed.

However, media reports said protests happened on Friday (November 25) night, following an apartment fire on Thursday (November 24) in Xinjiang that killed 10 people. State broadcaster CCTV reported an electric socket extension was the cause of the fire and the apartment building was in a compound categorized as low-risk, a term used for areas without COVID-19 cases. Residents were able to go downstairs, state media said.

China reported 35,183 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, of which 3,474 were symptomatic and 31,709 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Saturday (November 26), setting a new high for the third consecutive day.