Beijing announced the number of new Covid cases has spiked again. Worried residents of China’s capital have flocked to supermarkets to buy food and other essential items, and they are afraid of a potential lockdown similar to that happening in Shanghai.
As ABC News reported, Beijing’s health authority announced that they found 56 new cases of COVID-19 on April 27.
The announcement helped fuel the expectation of an imminent widespread lockdown after Beijing expanded its mass testing program from one district to 11 among its 16 districts earlier this week.
Fearing a Shanghai-style lockdown, the local people have flooded supermarkets to stock up on essential supplies.
According to Sky News, supermarket shelves have been stripped bare.
Their panic buying began on Monday after 3.5 million residents in Beijing’s Chaoyang district were asked to undergo three rounds of mass testing. The district was partially placed under lockdown on April 24.
A resident in Chaoyang district named Ji told the news outlet that the lockdown prompted panic buying in the area. She said she bought rice, noodles, vegetables, toilet paper, food, and other necessities to store for at least 20 days.
Eunice Yoon, a senior correspondent for CNBC in Beijing, said in a tweet on April 24 that she went to the supermarkets to buy vegetables, but she was too late as the shelves were empty.
The Twitter account FrontSource shared some photos of long lines at the supermarket checkout as shelves are stripped of any food.
Max Wan, a citizen in Beijing, told ABC News that he has ordered a second fridge and plans to stuff it with food. He said that his friends in Shanghai were enduring harsh lockdowns, and they advised him to stock up on food.
Max said that he sees many residents also stockpiling food, water, and toilet paper because they are worried about an imminent lockdown.
The Chinese authorities continue to impose the “Zero-Covid” policy, with strict prevention and tight control as one of their working slogans. But these policies do not seem to be working, and the pandemic continues spreading.