Chaotic scenes were filmed at Shanghai Pudong Airport after several workers tested positive for coronavirus.
In footage shared online, people in hazmat suits can be seen trying to herd huge crowds who do not appear to be cooperating.
A number of the airport’s baggage handlers and their close contacts tested positive for Covid-19 on 22 November, reports The Global Times.
In response, it was decided that all airport staff would be tested, with most flights into Shanghai cancelled on Sunday.
However, videos soon emerged on social media that appeared to show the large crowds of staff becoming hard to control.
“Wild scenes at Shanghai Pudong airport – multiple vids going around of what appears to be a sudden decision by authorities to test all staff for #COVID19 after two positive cases detected,” tweeted the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s China correspondent, Bill Birtles.
“Reports say authorities ultimately relented as things were getting out of hand.”
Other tweets reported that the plan was to corral the thousands of workers into an airport car park where testing stations had been set up – in another video, a line of people in PPE can be seen forming a blockade while the crowd tries to push through.
In all the videos, workers can be heard shouting as the situation escalates.
Mr Birtles also shared the official footage released by a Shanghai government-owned media outlet for comparison.
In it, orderly queues of people are ushered into the car park one by one and tested with no sign of the disgruntled crowds seen elsewhere.
However, in response to Mr Birtles’ original tweet, one social media user responded that, “Some fake news suggests people are running away… In fact, they only went to the second floor in batches.”
Although China was ground zero for coronavirus, it has since managed to gain control and, unlike many countries around the world, including the UK, has kept numbers of new infections consistently low since April.