Hazmat suit-clad staff were filmed herding a huge crowd into a basement area inside Shanghai Pudong International Airport in the country's financial hub.
But, amid fears of mandatory 14-day quarantine, the group staged a mass bid for freedom.
They were filmed pushing as the officials - wearing plastic face shields - linked arms to keep them in line.
An airport in China was plunged into chaos (pictured) today after a worker tested positive for Covid-19 prompting officials to order airport-wide testing, witnesses claim
Hazmat suit-clad airport staff were filmed herding a huge crowd in a basement area (pictured) inside Shanghai Pudong International Airport in the country's financial hub
Other clips showed a surge of people trying to escape via a ramp as heavily-outnumbered workers attempted to hold them back.
Workers in full protective gear were ushering airport staff into a multi-storey car park to have the virus test, with scores of people filing into the facility.
More than 17,700 people had been swabbed by Monday morning in the drive to test airport cargo staff, the official Xinhua news agency reported, and results had come back negative on over 11,500 so far.
Shanghai has reported six local infections linked to the airport this month, with most of the cases in the past few days.
On Monday authorities said two cargo handlers at the airport who tested positive earlier this month had entered and cleaned a container arriving from North America - without wearing masks - in late October.
On Friday, a positive case in Shanghai was found after mass testing following infections of a security inspector at Pudong International Airport and his wife.
Frontline cargo workers will be given regular tests in the future and those in high-risk jobs will also be given vaccines for Covid-19.
Crowds were filmed pushing as the officials - wearing plastic face shields - linked arms to keep them in line
Life in China - where the virus first emerged late last year - has largely returned to normal following strict testing and harsh lockdowns, but there has been a series of sporadic local outbreaks over recent months.
Authorities have recently shifted their focus to imported frozen food and other imports, which are blamed for a resurgence of local infections.
Last week, Shanghai confirmed a married couple had contracted Covid-19 in the city's Pudong district - its first locally transmitted COVID-19 infections in 11 days.
A 39-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were reported as suspected cases on Friday afternoon and their nucleic acid tests returned positive results, the Shanghai government said.
A team of experts are tracking people who may have been exposed and are taking appropriate preventative measures, it added.
Amid fears of mandatory 14-day quarantine, the group staged a mass bid for freedom, reports suggest
Mainland China reported 17 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday - up from 16 the previous day - with three cases of local transmission and nine cases originating overseas, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.
The Commission said in its daily bulletin that two of the local transmissions took place in Inner Mongolia and one in Shanghai.
Inner Mongolia's health authority said on Saturday it had confirmed two new coronavirus cases in Hulunbuir city on the Chinese border with Russia.
A cluster of domestic cases has also been reported in the northern port city of Tianjin, where state media said 2.6million people are being tested.
Mainland China has so far reported an accumulated total of 86,431 COVID-19 cases, with the official death toll at 4,634.
China has been giving experimental Covid-19 vaccines to people including state employees, international students and essential workers heading abroad since July.
Some reports suggest the airport was testing only staff members, while others claimed everyone - including passengers - were subject to the new rules. Pictured: Officials trying to control the crowds