On Jan 26, the local government of Shenzhen in southern Guangdong province ordered its estimated 113 million citizens to wear surgical face masks when in public areas. Violations of the order were made a punishable offence, according to a report on Feb 2 by The Sun UK.
The woman, whose surname is Qui, was believed to be in violation of the province-wide order. The 51-year-old was confronted by several shoppers in the Space supermarket, inside the Kingkey Banner Center shopping mall, to put on a face mask or leave the premises. She refused, argued with them and allegedly spat at them.
Police were soon at the scene. Video footage has been circulating online of the woman struggling with police officers in the supermarket. She was eventually pinned down and had her hands tied behind her back.
The authorities confirmed that Qui was taken to Kangning Hospital, where she tested negative for 2019-nCoV. She was discharged and transferred to the Shenzhen police for further questioning.
There has been no update on whether she will be punished for refusing to wear a face mask.
Qui’s disregard for public safety, however, is unwarranted. A Space supermarket spokesperson said all its shops are required to disinfect its premises every two hours as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
There are increasing concerns about this as there have been 636 deaths and 31,161 confirmed cases.
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