This is the moment hundreds of Chinese residents – many without masks – are filmed dancing together on a crowded riverbank despite a ban on public gatherings amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The clip shot on the banks of the river Wei in Xi’an, capital of China’s north-western province of Shaanxi, shows up to 200 people joyously bobbing to loud electronic dance music.
Local resident Mr Wang, who recorded the scenes on 26th February, said he did not expect to see anyone else outdoors, with officials encouraging – and sometimes enforcing – self-isolation in order to stop the spread of the virus known as COVID-19.
Mr Wang said: “I took my child for a walk there. I thought it would be empty.”
Video Credit: AsiaWire
In the video, the large group of people stand in a line and form a train of dancers as they move across the riverside public square.
Several dozen people can be seen standing around them taking videos as loud electronic dance music blares from speakers.
None appears to be concerned that they might be infected by the pneumonia-like illness which has so far claimed the lives of 2,788 people in mainland China, where there have been nearly 80,000 confirmed cases to date.
Local officials have confirmed the group was dancing in a wetland park next to the Wei River, and that they were asked to disperse.
The authorities said they would step up patrols to stop similar public gatherings amid the outbreak.
A spokesperson told local media: “These villagers have been cooped up at home for too long.
“Village officials went to stop them as soon as they learned of the behaviour.”
Mr Wang added: “Think about all the front-line medical workers trying to stop the outbreak. If anyone in this group is infected, all their hard work would be for nothing.
“We’ve managed to quarantine ourselves for a month. Businesses are reopening, but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to get together.”
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Story By: John Feng, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report
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