The crisis unfolding in Ukraine has shunted the pandemic down the news agenda for many in the West, but not for the 25 million residents of Shanghai, who are back under a draconian lockdown – indefinitely.

The streets of China’s bustling financial centre are now deserted, with citizens forbidden from setting foot outside of their homes since 31 March, even to buy food. Shanghai reported a record 20,000 new Covid cases on Thursday.

Drones with loudspeakers, hovering between blocks of high-rise flats, have been ordering residents to “control your soul’s thirst for freedom.”