China's sophisticated surveillance network is being used to enforce coronavirus rules, with officials in monitoring rooms shouting at offenders through loudspeakers if they spy an infringement.
Authorities have also mobilised grid-style policing, raising thousands of volunteers to monitor residents and escort people for testing.
Monetary rewards have been offered for informing on sick people, and cameras are installed on people's doors to enforce quarantines.
The increasingly draconian steps are raising fears of a new age of surveillance in China, with smartphone monitoring and facial recognition systems expanded into all aspects of life.
In Donghan village in Hubei, the province where the coronavirus emerged late last year, Liu Ganhe, a member of the "grid" of local officials monitoring the area through cameras, saw six villagers gathering without masks, so he called the authorities.
"Village cadres rushed to the scene to disperse the crowd and educate the people," state media said, praising the "wartime restrictions" the system was able to enforce. The system in the area cost 40 million yuan ($8.8m) and has more than 4400 cameras, the report added. In Xiangtan, a city in Hunan, the state media has published pictures of officials watching multiple screens in police stations. Others show volunteer staff scouring footage and sharing clips on messaging apps.
"The pandemic has given the opportunity for companies and the Government to legitimise highly intrusive systems," said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch.
"The coronavirus has enabled authorities to deepen and push for greater acceptance ... not because these systems are really great, but because people really have no choice."
Zhou Jiangyong, the Communist Party secretary overseeing Hangzhou — where China's contact tracing apps were first deployed — has called the programmes "an important practice" that should be expanded, according to state media.
Right on cue, city officials last month proposed expanding the current "health code" programme — a contagion risk profile that determines if a person's travel and contact history requires quarantine — into a wider monitoring platform. It would collate personal details, including medical history and habits, such as exercise, alcohol consumed, and hours slept.
Over the last few years, China has sunk billions into facial recognition surveillance systems, and is even building a DNA database of men and boys, saying such tools would aid crime prevention.
It remains unclear how quickly authorities can access and make use of the data, though such mass collection can be used for more sinister means.
In far western Xinjiang, technology and human surveillance already tracks if Muslims pray too much — deemed by the regime an early sign of "terrorism" and a reason for them to be sent to "re-education" camps.
"My biggest concern is about privacy," said Xue Linlin, 26, who works for a real estate developer in Hangzhou. "If they have all your data, I don't know if they will ever delete it, or what happens if the information gets leaked. Will being in a poor health condition become a reason companies don't want to employ you?"