Citizens rush to supermarkets in Beijing as COVID-19 mass testing sparks rumours of lockdown
China has been experiencing a huge surge in COVID-19 cases for quite some time now and the restrictions placed by the authorities are not making life easy for the citizens.
Earlier, Shanghai went through a tough lockdown and on Monday, Beijing saw a lot of panic buying in the supermarkets as the start of mass testing sparked rumours of a similar lockdown.
Chaoyang, the biggest district of Beijing, became the first place to undergo mass testing as around 3.5 million citizens were asked to report for three COVID-19 tests in a week. The decision was taken after the area accounted for more than half of Beijing’s asymptomatic cases since Friday.
“The current outbreak in Beijing is spreading stealthily from sources that remained unknown yet and is developing rapidly,” a municipality official said on Sunday according to a report on The Guardian.
There was a partial lockdown in Chaoyang after the rise in COVID-19 as around 12-14 residential buildings were put under observation. “Chaoyang district is now the topmost focus for pandemic prevention,” said the city’s Communist party head, Cai Qi, according to the New York Times.
“Important pandemic measures cannot be left waiting till the next day … All at-risk sites and individuals involved in these cases must be checked that day,” he added.
The authorities have made it clear that they do not want to implement the lockdown immediately as they fear a repeat of the situation in Shanghai where people suffered from food shortages.
A number of supermarket chains confirmed that they have stocked their shops and they will be increasing their working hours to meet the demands. Meituan, a grocery delivery platform, also said that they will have more number of staffers in the coming days according to Beijing Daily.