The COVID-19 pandemic is breaking out in Yiwu city, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province. At least 70 positive cases have been recorded. Currently, the pandemic has spread to many provinces and cities. Yiwu, known as China’s largest retail trade center and recognized by the World Bank as the largest market in the world, has now become a virtual ghost town, with not a soul in sight, and the pandemic situation is worrying.
The pandemic situation in Yiwu is very tense. On August 3, there were 33 positive cases. The government has issued an emergency notice reminding nonlocals not to visit the city, and that locals should not leave the city unless necessary; the government also upgraded high and medium risk areas to prevent and control people; at the same time they took various measures such as suspending teaching in many schools, and closing all food and beverage venues.
According to the latest report on August 4 for Yiwu, from 9 pm on August 3 to 9 am on August 4, the city detected 32 more cases. Since the outbreak on August 2, the city has detected at least 70 local COVID-19 cases. Numerous cases in Yiwu have occurred at the Qingkou night market, where there are frequently big crowds; yet, because this area is also a food street, neither merchants nor customers wear masks. Consequently, this is a significant point of transmission for the current pandemic.
Currently, the epidemic spreading in Yiwu is concentrated mainly in Jinhua city. All residents have had their initial screening test positive. Many other places outside Jinhua city related to the epidemic have also urgently issued warning notices, requiring people who have lived in Yiwu since July 29 to report immediately.
Starting on August 3, all residents of Yiwu are required to take a PCR test, and when entering public places must present a 48-hour negative certificate. Jinhua city is also conducting PCR testing for all residents.
According to public information, Yiwu is a second-tier city, in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, with a fixed population of 1.86 million in 2020.
On the internet, locals say, the “World’s Largest Retail Trade Capital” is an “empty city,” and the world’s largest wholesale market is “without a shadow of a person.”
A video on YouTube on August 4 shows that many shops on a commercial street are doing poorly, many stores are closed, and “nobody’s at the market.” (1:58)
The video shows a wide, empty road with no one. It was once jammed with vehicles. One woman said: “Looking at Yiwu City, all the streets are empty without a shadow of a person.” Another said: “The street was usually crowded with vehicles, but now there is not even a shadow of a car.”
On another street, the shops on both sides of the road were also locked, the scene was gloomy. Someone said: “It’s over, it’s closed! It’s closed!”, “It’s over, the pharmacy is closed!”
There has been a lot of chaos in Yiwu’s extreme pandemic prevention and control work, causing all kinds of inconvenience and trouble for the people. In the video, a large number of Yiwu residents lined up for a PCR test late at night (1:29), and the loudspeaker boomed that everyone should take the test in the middle of the night. A large number of people in the supermarket are also rushing to stock up, some shelves are empty. (1:01)
Due to the emergency lockdown, some people were blocked from entering the market and could not go out (2:52). Other videos show that many roads and communities in Yiwu are blocked, and the junction of Jinhua City and Yiwu City is also blocked. Everything is locked down. (3:00) Vision Times quoted many netizens as saying, “Doing PCR testing has been a sacred and inseparable part of China since the beginning of the pandemic.”