Food crisis, frayed tempers amid Shanghai lockdown

With the lockdown in China’s business capital showing no signs of ending, citizens are getting impatient and there have been reports of protests and clashes with police. Chinese social media posts have shown residents of Shanghai come out in the open to protest as authorities ask them to move out of their homes to make way for Covid-19 patients.

The complete lockdown in the city of 25 million has put China’s Covid-Zero policy under the scanner as overwhelmed authorities try to balance economic considerations with the need to fight the surge in the number of cases.

Amid reports of food scarcity, desperate people are reportedly scouring social media. One resident IANS got in touch with in Shanghai told this correspondent how it was becoming increasingly difficult to find food in modest quantities.

“I am not getting the vegetables I need as the minimum amount available comes for 5340 Yuan”, said the resident, who lives in downtown Shanghai.

Requesting anonymity, she added that she was looking for friends and relatives online so that all of them can come together to buy the large quantity. “I can’t purchase the entire quantity myself,” she said.

Another resident this correspondent tried to speak to was too busy looking for food. “I am very busy finding food at the moment, if I don’t find food I will have no life,” she said, requesting anonymity.

Shanghai, which has been under complete lockdown for weeks, reported 23,000 Covid-19 cases on Friday, part of a spike that has put authorities on high alert.

The sudden spike in cases in China has seen several cities step up precautionary measures. This includes the tourist city of Xian that has proclaimed a partial lockdown until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, China’s neighbour South Korea has decided to end most Covid-related restrictions from next week as Omicron cases show signs of coming down, the government announced on Saturday.

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