SOURCE / ECONOMY
Malls in Shijiazhuang ordered to halt in-person business: Local officials
Published: Jan 10, 2021 12:39 PM

Medical workers seal a sample at a community in Yuhua District of Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, Jan. 7, 2021. Shijiazhuang started to conduct citywide nucleic acid tests covering all residents on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Jin Haoyuan)

Supermarkets and shopping malls in Shijiazhuang, the capital of North China's Hebei Province, have suspended physical operations and switched to online sales featuring contactless delivery to ensure that residents' basic daily needs are met while they stay at home, local authorities announced on Sunday, amid the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the city.

More than 51 online platforms have promised to provide essential services to local residents. These companies, including industry giants such as Alibaba and JD.com, promised to assume their social responsibilities, earnestly implement epidemic prevention and control measures, and do their utmost to guarantee the supply of daily necessities, according to the official Weibo account of Shijiazhuang local government on Sunday.

The COVID-19 outbreak in Hebei Province continued as the province reported another 46 confirmed patients and 13 asymptomatic cases on Sunday, some of whom had been to weddings, fever clinics, school canteens and funerals.

The outbreak in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital close to Beijing, comes four weeks before the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, the most important annual festival in China. With the festival comes an elevated traffic flow by migrant workers returning home for family reunions.

Shijiazhuang has stopped sales of train tickets to all other cities, and local residents were ordered to stay at home for another seven days to curb the spread of the virus, media reported.

Price of major daily necessities have remained stable and local authorities are monitoring the price of necessities and coronavirus-related products every day, Hebei Daily reported.

Shijiazhuang residents reached by the Global Times said demand could be basically met during days at home. 

"We have a vegetable stand in our community, and there's a convenience store that supplies other daily necessities," a local resident surnamed Zhang told the Global Times on Sunday.

But Zhang said delivery staff and products ordered online cannot come to a customer's door. 

Chengxinyouxuan, an e-commerce platform under ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, said it has urgently transported the supply of materials to Shijiazhuang, and it resumed the supply of fruit and vegetables in Shijiazhuang from Sunday. Residents in some communities already ordered online on Saturday, according to media reports.

It will also resume supply of daily necessities such as rice, noodles, grain and oil, as well as anti-epidemic materials such as masks and disinfectant materials on the platform starting from Monday, media reported.




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