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Shanghai residents running out of food in COVID-19 lockdown

Truckers entering Shanghai must be tested for COVID-19, delaying shipments into the city

April 10, 2022 9:36am

Updated: April 10, 2022 1:09pm

Logistical issues and fears of catching COVID-19 are making it difficult for locked-down residents of China’s financial capital to get their hands on food, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Truckers entering Shanghai must be tested for COVID-19, delaying shipments into the city. Meanwhile, many of Shanghai’s food delivery workers have been confined to their homes or are not working because they do not want to catch the virus.

“Our trust in the government is getting eroded because they told us the lockdown would only last a few days,” Dai Yuanyuan, a 33-year-old resident who has been locked down for over three weeks.

Dai said that the food she has will likely not last longer than five more days. She has to depend on government-organized food deliveries because private deliveries have been banned by local authorities out of fear infected drivers might spread the virus in her residential compound.

“Now I understand why my parents’ generation like to stockpile,” she said, referring to past generations who lived through The Great Chinese Famine, which killed tens of millions of people in the late 50s because of communist agricultural policies.

Reports of food shortages in Shanghai, one of China’s wealthiest and most globalized cities, have been met with shock elsewhere in the country. The city’s lockdown is China's largest since the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan

One migrant worker said that he and his brother received a single package of vegetables on Apr. 1 – a bag of bok choy, three tomatoes, one lotus root and one onion – which they consumed in two days. They have been surviving on plain noodles since then.

“I need to save a few bowls of instant noodles since the lockdown appears to be indefinite,” the worker told WSJ.

Those living in residential complexes that allow private deliveries are still going to extreme lengths to place orders.

Hou Jue, a 30-year-old lifestyle blogger, said he filled his online shopping cart the night before and set his alarm clock for 5:50 a.m.

“The ordering starts at 6:00. But if you press ‘Pay’ at 6:00, you won’t be able to buy anything,” Mr. Hou said. “At 5:55 a.m., I started to tap ‘Pay’ like crazy.”