Chinese city hit by food shortage on Covid curbs

by IANS |

Chengdu, Aug 31 (IANS) Authorities in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu have imposed restrictions on the city in a bid to curb a surge in new Covid-19 infections, as residents complained of food shortages and panic-buying, media reports said.

The 21 million residents of the city, Sichuan's provincial capital, were ordered to undergo mass PCR testing, as entertainment venues and local schools were shut down in new measures, RFA reported.

Citywide, anyone wanting to access any public space including public transportation will need to present a green "health code" on the Chinese government tracker app, indicating a negative PCR test from within the past 48 hours, the report said.

Further restrictions and targeted lockdowns were also announced in Chengdu's Jinjiang, Gaoxin, Wuhou, Chenghua, Qingyang and Jinniu districts, while the Chengdu Motor Show has been "suspended", media reports said.

A Chengdu resident, who gave only the surname Wu, said traffic restrictions had meant less and less food on sale in stores and supermarkets, sparking panic-buying in some areas.

"There are very few people on the streets, and no vendors selling vegetables in the mornings. There are no vegetables left in the supermarkets. I managed to get a few eggs," Wu said.

"Some of my friends are stockpiling food in their homes; the city authorities are telling people to stock up," she added, RFA reported.

Photos of one supermarket in Chengdu posted to the social media platform Weibo showed empty shelves and freezer cabinets.

And a video clip shot in the early hours of Tuesday morning in Chengdu, showed mass screaming and shouting coming from several high-rise apartment blocks in darkness.

Wu described the situation in Chengdu as "pretty serious," with some metro stations closed, and public transportation changing routes to avoid certain districts, RFA reported.

"They locked down a lot of residential compounds from yesterday evening. There are a lot of people going to get PCR tests, which we have to do every 24 hours," she said.

"They start calling people on the loudspeakers at 5 a.m. to get up and go and do PCR tests ... this is happening more in places like Century City, the high-tech zone and Jinnui district."

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