China on Wednesday reported over 20,000 new Covid-19 cases, the highest ever daily infection tally in the country since the start of the pandemic in 2019, reported AFP.
Due to a severe Covid-19 lockdown, supermarkets are closed and deliveries are restricted, causing nearly 26 million citizens in Shanghai's key Chinese financial center to hunt for food.
The city's government declared on Wednesday (April 6) that it would not consider relaxing restrictions until the latest citywide Covid-19 testing program is completed and the results assessed.
Residents have grown unhappy with the limitations, testing requirements, and lack of food and other essentials in several facilities that have been locked down for more than two weeks.
Many people have advocated for asymptomatic Covid-19 cases to be allowed to quarantine at home, and rules that separate coronavirus positive children from their parents have sparked controversy.
Shanghai is in a "race against time" against the deadliest outbreak since the pandemic broke out two years ago, according to Wu Qianyu, a local official with the city's health commission.
The most difficult task is getting deliveries to people's houses.
Liu Min, vice-chairman of Shanghai's trade commission, said authorities were working hard to clear bottlenecks and provide the population's "basic living needs."
She stated that food and other needs will be shipped in from other provinces, and that emergency supply facilities would be built in and around Shanghai to secure vegetable supplies.
The largest issue, she said, was getting delivery to people's houses.
With home delivery through official channels becoming increasingly difficult, residents are resorting to other means, like using the application ‘WeChat’ to try to source essentials, added the report.
Shanghai would try to "release delivery capacity," according to Liu, who added that 11,000 riders employed by major e-commerce platforms in the city might return to work if they passed daily COVID nucleic acid and antigen testing.
The government is also increasing quarantine capacity by turning the 150,000-square-meter National Convention and Exhibition Center into a 40,000-person quarantine facility.