Shanghai pledges to improve food deliveries as discontent over COVID restrictions grows

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© . FILE PHOTO: Workers wearing protective clothing sort bags of vegetables and groceries onto a truck to distribute to residents of a residential complex during the lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China, April 5, 202 to curb

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SHANGHAI () – The Shanghai government said Thursday it was doing its best to improve the distribution of food and essential goods to incarcerated residents, in response to growing public discontent as COVID restrictions extended into an 11th day. China’s financial center has largely fallen silent after the city imposed tough measures to curb the spread of COVID under the country’s “zero tolerance” policy, requiring only health workers, volunteers, delivery drivers or those with special permissions to take to the streets. were allowed. Authorities say the number of couriers to deliver supplies to the city’s 26 million residents has been reduced to just 11,000. Still working but congested services include the Freshippo online grocery platform from Meituan and Alibaba (NYSE:) and the Ele.me service. The lockdowns for residents of the city east of the Huangpu River began on March 28, while the lockdowns for the rest of the city began on April 1. The exercise was originally planned to last five days. The Shanghai branch of the Chinese Communist Party called on members to “show their swords and fight against all kinds of behavior that disrupts and destroys the overall effort against the pandemic” in an open letter on Wednesday evening. Shanghai has ample supplies of basic commodities such as rice and meat, but due to epidemic control measures, problems have arisen in distribution and last-mile deliveries, Shanghai vice mayor Chen Tong said at a news conference on Thursday. He said the city would try to reopen a number of wholesale markets and food stores and allow more deliverers from closed areas. Officials will also crack down on price hikes, he added. Many residents are beginning to worry about food and drinking water, as well as obtaining products such as infant formula. ONLINE POLLUTION Some have complained on social media of having to wake up early in the morning to book a grocery delivery but found they sold out in seconds. Others have turned to WeChat groups in the community to try and buy fruits and vegetables in bulk. Social media users have also widely shared their outrage at individual tragedies, including the alleged suicide of a woman after undergoing cyberbullying for underpaying a delivery person, and a health worker beating a corgi dog to death after its owner went to was reportedly quarantined. Shanghai, which has conducted multiple rounds of testing, reported nearly 20,000 new locally transmitted cases on Wednesday, 98% of which were asymptomatic. However, there are signs that transmission is still happening despite the lockdowns. Of the 19,660 asymptomatic infections, 633 involved people who were not quarantined or under control, the data showed. China’s most populous city has not yet given an indication of when lockdown measures will be lifted, which will fuel uncertainty and prompt European businesses and economists to warn of its growing toll on the economy and attractiveness as an international financial center. However, the economic impact is not limited to Shanghai, with 87 of China’s top 100 cities imposing some degree of restrictions on activity and mobility “in the hope of keeping COVID under control and avoiding the fate of Shanghai,” Gavekal said. Dragonomics analyst Ernan Cui in a note on Thursday. The coronavirus was first diagnosed in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. From Monday, Shanghai will cut caploads on international flights by foreign airlines by 40%, compared to 75% earlier in a bid to reduce imported cases, two sources said. on Thursday. The city is a hub for the few international flights that still come to China. On Thursday, the Shanghai disciplinary body said it had fired an official from a subsidiary of the Shanghai Airport Group and the deputy secretary of a district mental health center for their poor implementation of virus containment measures. While the number of cases in Shanghai remains small by global standards, the city has emerged as a testbed for China’s “dynamic clearance” strategy, which seeks to test, detect and centrally quarantine all positive cases and close contacts. . Shanghai has converted dozens of buildings into quarantine facilities that can house tens of thousands of positive cases.

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