Israeli diplomat held in ‘prison-like conditions’ in China after catching mild case of Covid

 It was “the 10 most bizarre days that I could imagine…not recommended for claustrophobics, or for anyone.”

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Consul-General in Shanghai said that “nothing could have prepared” him for a 10-day sojourn at a Chinese medical holding facility, where he was held because he caught a mild case of COVID-19, describing it as a “prison.”

Eddie Shapira was taken to the facility as part of China’s zero-COVID policy, he wrote in a Facebook post over the weekend.

“Conditions are reminiscent of a prison,” Shapira said, adding that it was “the 10 most bizarre days that I could imagine.”

“I caught COVID-19 and did not have strong symptoms at all,” Shapira wrote.

“The problem is that I caught it in the wrongest place on earth – in China,” he wrote. “Here, they take cases of morbidity as seriously as if three years haven’t gone by and they have not learned anything and are still in favor of total separation of anyone exposed to those who are sick. The sick people themselves are put in special hospitals.”

“Nothing could have prepared me for the experience,” he said.

“I found myself in a room between two hallways, a kind of aquarium, two single beds, two automatic doors that open by remote control and a tiny envelope opening for a tray of ‘food,'” he wrote. “The days pass hoping for two negative results, with 24 hours between them.”

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“It’s not recommended for claustrophobics, or for anyone,” Shapira wrote.

U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns earlier this year slammed Chinese authorities for detaining diplomats and separating them from their families because they had contracted the virus or even if they had only been exposed to it, claiming it was in contravention of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and got Beijing to promise that U.S. diplomats could quarantine at home. The U.S. was prepared to evacuate any diplomat whom the Chinese government would not exempt from being sent to a holding facility.

“We have legal rights here, and reclaiming those legal rights under the Vienna Convention was very important to us. And so, we’ve held the line,” Burns said in an interview with Washington Post at the time.

China is set to announce an easing of its COVID-19 quarantine protocols in the coming days, Reuters reported last week, amid widespread protests against the harsh measures.