Locked Down Shanghai works to ensure food supply and medical care

(Yicai Global) April 6 — From large corporations to government agencies, Shanghai is working to ensure business as usual, including providing daily necessities and medical services to residents after the city of 25 million inhabitants has been stranded amid a resurgence of Covid -19.

The city has a glut of agricultural produce, but the key issue is last-mile delivery, an executive from the Shanghai Vegetable Group told Yicai Global. To that end, supermarkets and e-commerce platforms in Shanghai have their own distribution teams, couriers and community volunteers to deliver daily necessities to people, he said.

As for health services, county-level authorities have set up systems to connect residential communities with medical institutions, Gu Honghui, deputy general secretary of Shanghai, said at a press conference yesterday. Emergency medical channels have been launched to help patients with acute and critical illnesses, pregnant women and those in need of kidney dialysis, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, Gu said.

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Shanghai remains high, adding 311 confirmed cases and 16,766 asymptomatic infections yesterday, according to local health authorities. The city has reported more than 90,000 cases since early March.

The citywide lockdown quickly flattened Shanghai’s food supply chain, said Tao Jun, vice president of the trade and logistics division at the China General Chamber of Commerce. The chain has moved to a regional system of direct distribution from the usual wholesale system of agricultural and secondary products that goes from farmers to supermarkets and from online outlets to families.

Most local stores were closed during the lockdown, but online operations continued as much as possible to ensure third-party logistics and retailers themselves can deliver products to customers, Yicai Global has learned from retailers. .

All 27 Hema Fresh stores in Shanghai had activated group buying services as of 12:00 p.m. yesterday, a staff member at supermarket chain Alibaba Group Holding told Yicai Global. The couriers will send the products directly to the doorsteps of the residential communities.

“We receive thousands of online orders every day, which we supply and deliver,” Ji Linfeng, manager of a local branch of French supermarket giant Carrefour, told Yicai Global.

“Today, we sent 17 trucks to other cities to mainly pick up vegetables and bring them back to Shanghai,” Ji said. “As the whole transport process is a closed loop, truck drivers carry various permits, paper strips seal the cabin doors to show that they are safe, while drivers wear protective clothing .”

Editors: Tang Shihua, Futura Costaglione

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