Residents In Shanghai Report Food Shortages From Covid Lockdowns

Residents In Shanghai Report Food Shortages From Covid Lockdowns

food shortages

Customers look through empty shelves at a supermarket in Shanghai, China, March 30, 2022. Most of the 25M residents are on lockdown as the government tries to contain a covid outbreak. (AP Photo/Chen Si, File)

Residents in Shanghai, China, are reporting food shortages one week into a zero-covid lockdown that has left some people starving and screaming from the windows of their apartments while riots break out in some neighborhoods, according to a Daily Beast report.

The city of more than 26 million people went into lockdown on April 5 as the Asian tiger rushed to contain a new wave of covid-19 after two years of no reported cases and death.

The latest outbreak in China is driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant and a spike in asymptomatic cases. The surge is testing the efficacy of China’s zero-covid policy, which turned the country into an island while the rest of the world struggled to contain the pandemic.

The tough lockdown measures put in place by authorities to slow the outbreak are creating a massive supply chain disruption that’s hurting the entire world’s manufacturing capacity.

Riots are breaking out in Shanghai, according to videos online, as millions struggle to feed themselves, and elderly people are unable to access essential medication and healthcare.

Many Chinese households in several provinces and cities under lockdown are relying on the government for food deliveries, which are proving inadequate and unreliable, according to reports on social media.

It is unclear how widespread the food shortages are, and they appear to vary by district. The difficulties have cut across class and nationalities in Shanghai, which has a large expatriate population.

Officials have acknowledged some problems and have announced that they will lift restrictions on some wholesale markets and delivery workers, and will recruit more volunteers to speed up grocery distribution, the New York Times reported.

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Shanghai’s 26 million residents have had to take six covid tests since April 3 and are prohibited from leaving their homes, even for food.

The government has been dropping rations and people are using delivery services, though even those are curtailed due to the restrictions.

“This has created a phenomenon of it being difficult for basic supplies to arrive at people’s doors,” Chen Tong, Shanghai’s deputy mayor, said in a news briefing on April 7, adding that officials were making “every effort” to ensure delivery.

Photo: Customers look through empty shelves at a supermarket in Shanghai, China, March 30, 2022. Residents of Shanghai are struggling to get meat, rice and other food supplies under anti-coronavirus controls that confine most of its 25 million people in their homes, fueling frustration as the government tries to contain a spreading outbreak. (AP Photo/Chen Si, File)