SOURCE / COMPANIES
Supplies of fresh products 'sufficient' in closed-off cities in North China's Hebei
Published: Jan 12, 2021 09:33 PM

About 25,000 couriers are returning to work to supply daily necessities to stay-at-home residents in Shijiazhuang, North China's Hebei Province, where more than 200 confirmed COVID-19 cases have emerged since the start of this year. Photo: VCG



To prevent the spread of coronavirus, Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang in North China's Hebei Province will be under closed-off management, officials from Hebei Province said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to media reports, after 326 cases were found in the province since January 2.

But supermarkets, e-commerce platforms and suppliers said that supplies of fresh foods in Hebei are sufficient for residents, while online orders and delivery services are running as normal in locked-down cities.

Physical operations of stores and supermarkets in Shijiazhuang have been suspended. Online orders and non-contact distribution will be adopted to ensure supplies for residents. Currently, 59 supermarkets and 51 online platforms, including Alibaba LST, JD.com, Suning and Pinduoduo, have promised to provide fresh foods and services, according to an announcement by the Shijiazhuang commerce bureau on Monday.

A resident in Shijiazhuang told the Global Times that supermarkets are open, but only online services are available. Orders can be delivered to communities.

A staffer of ele.me, an online food delivery service platform, told the Global Times that all products will be delivered by the company's riders and the product sources are local stores and supermarkets such as Carrefour. "The prices of our products will not rise sharply," said the ele.me staffer.

A salesperson at a branch of Yonghui Superstores in Gu'an, Langfang, told the Global Times on Tuesday that supplies of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and milk are sufficient.

Residents of Langfang will be under seven-day home observation after free nucleic acid tests from Tuesday, the city's COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control team announced Monday.

"Every day, the parent company supplies supermarkets in Hebei. Online delivery services are also running normally in Langfang. Prices of fresh vegetables have remained stable, and at the request of the market regulator, price hikes are prohibited," said the salesperson, who declined to be identified.

Staff of Alibaba LST, Alibaba's B2B platform providing logistics and marketing services to retail stores, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the company responded to government requirements to especially open business-to-consumer services to local residents. 

"Orders will be dispatched from warehouses in Tianjin Municipality (North China) by logistics companies and will take three to four days," said the staffer, who noted that the company can't provide fresh vegetables and fruits but it will provide other daily necessities that one can see in supermarkets. 

Employees of online fresh fruit store Guojizhuang Xianguo reached by the Global Times said that their truck drivers can pass through traffic controls in Hebei with permits issued by government to transport daily necessities, including fresh fruit and vegetables.


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