Buying food, a lockdown odyssey in China’s richest city

Shanghai, China, Apr 12 (EFE).- Buying food was a trouble-free errand in Shanghai until the strict Covid-19 lockdown in China’s richest city turned it into an odyssean undertaking.

With over 25,000 coronavirus infections per day, driven by the Omicron variant, authorities have insisted on maintaining a zero Covid policy to curb the spread of the virus.

The latest lockdown in Shanghai restricts the city’s residents to leaving their homes just once per day — unlike during previous iterations of the drastic measure in 2020.

The strict rules have left the some 25 million residents of the city struggling to buy enough food for their families.

Ordering groceries online has also become an odyssey, with about 11,000 delivery men also in lockdown.

The struggle has fostered solidarity among Shanghai’s residents, with groups of people across the urban hub joining forces in collective bulk buying.

Residents can order anything from basic goods, cleaning supplies to wine and fast food from restaurants.

But the method is not obstacle free.

Orders can take up to four days to be delivered and suppliers are struggling with inventory.

The method is also leaving some behind, like older people who do not have smartphones or access to social messaging apps used to place the orders.

Shanghai authorities have not given a date for when the lockdown will end, leaving residents uncertain on when life will return to normal.

Videos on social media have shown people protesting against the lockdown and shouting at officers, denouncing food shortages.

In response to the discontent, the government has been delivering bags of staple food like rice, noodles, meat and eggs.

Some residents have said that the meat delivered by the government was in bad condition, leading to an investigation into the matter.

Over 100 establishments in Shanghai have also been fined for inflating their prices and taking advantage of the increased demand for food. EFE


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