Anxiety and empty shelves as Shanghai Covid-19 cases surge

Shanghai residents buy groceries from near-empty shelves after a run on supermarkets that followed the announcement of a planned lockdown

Shanghai recorded a steep climb in Covid-19 cases Tuesday as panic-buying in the Chinese city of about 25 million stripped supermarket shelves bare.

Millions endured a second day of lockdown after authorities effectively split the country’s biggest urban area in two,with residents of the city’s eastern half confined to their homes for four days and subjected to mandatory testing. 

Images showed some supermarket shelves in the city emptied of all goods as residents rushed to stock up before being locked down.

“I’d never have thought that society today would be worried over buying groceries.”

The area locked down on Monday is the sprawling eastern district of Pudong, which includes the main international airport and glittering financial centre.

Several exhibition halls in the city have been converted into mass quarantine centres, lining up row upon row of beds.

“The conditions of the makeshift quarantine centre I’m in are pretty tough,” she said, adding that there are around 2,500 camp beds grouped together in the main hall.

The city’s airports, railway stations and international shipping ports remain operational, while key manufacturers are allowed to resume production after a brief halt, state media reported.

China has largely kept virus outbreaks under control over the past two years through strict zero-tolerance measures including mass lockdowns of cities and provinces for even small numbers of cases.

At a press briefing on Monday, health expert Wu Fan said it was “necessary to take more resolute measures” to eliminate community transmission.

Originally published as Anxiety and empty shelves as Shanghai Covid-19 cases surge

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