Authorities deliver food as lockdown shortages hit China’s Xian

Beijing, Dec 30 (EFE).- Authorities in Xian began a campaign to distribute groceries to residents following social media protests about the scarcity of basic amenities in the central Chinese city, which on Thursday entered its eighth day of a lockdown amid a spike in community Covid-19 cases, local media reported.

China’s national health commission said 155 new cases were detected in Xian on Wednesday, bringing the number of cases to 1,117 since 9 December.

To tackle what has become the worst outbreak of Covid-19 in a Chinese city this year, authorities enforced a general lockdown that means local residents can only leave Xian with official permission and proof of a negative PCR test.

All public spaces and events have been shut down with the exception of some supermarkets and medical facilities.

Only two other cities have come under such stringent measures during the pandemic so far — the first being Wuhan during the initial outbreak in 2020 followed by Shijiazhuang last January.

Xian residents took to Chinese social media site Weibo to complain about the situation.

“The pandemic situation in Xian is serious, we can accept mass PCR testing, staying at home and other measures but cannot accept being unable to eat or buy food,” one user wrote.

Another said: “I don’t fear the virus, but I do fear hunger.”

When the lockdown was initially declared in Xian last week, the rules stated that one person per household was permitted to leave once every two days to buy groceries.

However, several Xian residents said on social media that a number supermarkets had been forced to close up and that, in practice, the rules of the lockdown were harsher than announced and in some cases prevented people from leaving their apartment blocks entirely.

City officials on Wednesday said the grocery shortages were triggered by a lack of delivery workers.

According to government data, China has registered a total of 101,890 Covid-19 cases and 4,636 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.EFE


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