Panic buying in Beijing stores amid fears of COVID blockade

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Beijing residents entered the shopping panic like a mob COVID-19 the trial order is announced. Residents of Beijing’s largest district, Chaoyang, are now being asked to test three times a week to slow the spread of the virus, authorities announced Sunday.

Residents of Beijing have begun emptying grocery stores for essentials, fearing they will face a blockade similar to that of Shanghai, which is entering its fourth week of isolation. Shoppers are stocking up on staples, including “vegetables, fresh meat, instant noodles, and toilet paper,” according to Reuters.

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Both grocery stain chains and online grocery services have braced themselves for the high demand for products. Carrefour and Wumart said they doubled inventory while Meituan increased the number of employees.

Beijing’s financial hub, however, is experiencing a major bottleneck due to a lack of couriers to make deliveries.

Despite the alarm, Beijing’s COVID restrictions are far more lenient than other areas of China, with “most of Chaoyang’s schools, shops and offices” remaining open despite the surge in cases.

Commuters wearing face masks walk into a subway station in Beijing on Friday, April 22, 2022.
(Photo AP / Mark Schiefelbein, File)

In Shanghai, residents still remain under a strict lockdown. Many public housing blocks and streets have been closed, with police in fireproof suits patrolling public areas.

The Shanghai government reported 51 in total Deaths by covid on April 24, marking the highest number of daily deaths to date. While many residents said their relatives or friends contracted the coronavirus in March, government officials reported 138 total deaths as of April 17.

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Authorities have announced they are looking to loosen the restrictions, saying they will enforce stricter guidelines in smaller areas with confirmed cases.

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The number of asymptomatic cases declined overnight, with local asymptomatic cases dropping from 19,657 to 16,983 within a day. On the other hand, the number of symptomatic cases increased from 1,401 to 2,472, according to Reuters.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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