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Barriers like these sprang up around Shanghai residential areas during a two-month lockdown that ended on June 1. The government's attempt to contain a COVID-19 outbreak cost many residents their mental and physical health.    © Reuters
The Big Story

Inside Shanghai's COVID lockdown nightmare

China's zero-COVID policy devastated the commercial capital

CISSY ZHOU, LAULY LI, CHENG TING-FANG and CK TAN, Nikkei staff writers | China

HONG KONG/ TAIPEI/SHANGHAI -- In late April, a few days into the quarantine of her dormitory in Shanghai, Jenny Zhang began to feel dehydrated. A senior at one of the city's top universities, she and other students on her floor had just been told they could only use communal toilets and showers on a strict rotation, and their drinking water would be severely rationed.

No matter how thirsty she became, Zhang, who spoke to Nikkei Asia under a pseudonym, could only allow herself tiny sips of water from her 500 ml bottle.

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