The woman hurries off, occasionally looking over her shoulder as the drone continues to shout instructions: "You'd better go back home and don't forget to wash your hands." This is China under quarantine in 2020. In another video promoted by state media, a police drone orders men sitting at an outdoor mahjong table to "stop playing and leave the site as soon as possible." "Don't look at the drone," it says, as a small child glances up curiously. "Ask your father to leave immediately."
As Chinese authorities struggle to contain the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, they are turning to a sophisticated authoritarian playbook honed over decades of crackdowns on dissidents and undesirables to enforce quarantines and lockdowns across the country.