Beijing Residents Panic Buy, Schools Close over COVID-19 Outbreak Fears

People in Beijing have started stocking up on food and other essentials as the city’s largest district begins mass testing of residents in the wake of a fresh coronavirus epidemic while schools have been closed. 

The panic buying in Beijing has raised fears that residents may suffer the fate of those who were locked down in Shanghai who experienced food shortages.

To keep up with fast climbing sales, Beijing supermarkets have stocked up on twice and triple the regular number of daily commodities, particularly vegetables, eggs, meat, and fruit, since Sunday night.

According to a press release by the People’s Government of the Municipality of Beijing, a senior government official assured that the city’s daily goods supplies are sufficient, and prices are stable.

Zhao Weidong, deputy chairman of the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau, said in a separate press release that vegetable supplies in the city’s seven major agricultural product wholesale marketplaces climbed by 11% to 25,200 tonnes on Tuesday, but vegetable prices remained unchanged.

Zhao added that local governments will continue to guide and organize wholesale marketplaces, chain supermarkets, retailers, and e-commerce platforms in order to boost purchases and stable supplies.

Meanwhile, the Education Bureau of the region has ordered all schools to suspend lessons as of today, April 29, saying it has not yet determined when they will return, a report from Sky News revealed. 

Students account for more than a third of all COVID-19 cases, with infection clusters linked to six schools and two kindergartens.

Since April 22, 228 local illnesses have been reported in Beijing alone.

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