Moneycontrol PRO
Upcoming Event : LeapToUnicorn - mentoring, networking and fundraising for startups. Register now
you are here: HomeNewsWorld

Panic-buying in Beijing as city adds new quarantine centres

Daily cases of COVID-19 across the country are hitting records, with 32,695 reported Friday.

November 25, 2022 / 04:52 PM IST
China COVID-19

China COVID-19

Residents of China's capital were emptying supermarket shelves and overwhelming delivery apps Friday as the city government ordered accelerated construction of COVID-19 quarantine centres and field hospitals.

Uncertainty and scattered, unconfirmed reports of a lockdown on at least some Beijing districts have fuelled the demand for food and other supplies, something not seen in the city for months.

Daily cases of COVID-19 across the country are hitting records, with 32,695 reported Friday. Of those, 1,860 were in Beijing, the majority of them asymptomatic.

Improvised quarantine centres and field hospitals hastily thrown up in gymnasiums, exhibition centres and other large, open indoor spaces have become notorious for overcrowding, poor sanitation, scarce food supplies and lights that stay on 24 hours.

Most residents of the city have already been advised not to leave their compounds, some of which are being fenced in. At entrances, workers clad head to toe in white hazmat suits stop unauthorised people and make sure residents scan their cellphone health apps to gain entry.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

Some of Beijing's grocery delivery services have reached capacity.

An increase in demand combined with a worker shortage left some customers unable to book same-day slots Friday for food and supplies from popular online grocery services such as Alibaba's Freshippo and Meituan Maicai.

Online, some Chinese users said there were delivery workers whose compounds were locked down, contributing to the worker shortage. The Associated Press was unable to independently confirm those reports.

Alibaba did not immediately comment.

At a Friday afternoon news conference, city government spokesperson Xu Hejian said it was necessary to strengthen the management and service guarantee" of quarantine centres and field hospitals where those who test positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with an infected person are transported to by police.

 

Authorities must “further accelerate” their construction and “coordinate the allocation of space, facilities, materials, personnel and other resources,” Xu said.

Officials have in recent days repeatedly insisted that China must stick with its hard-line “zero-COVID” policy that mandates lockdowns, mass testing and quarantines for anyone suspected of having come into contact with the virus. The policy is seen as taking a harsh toll on the economy and upending lives in many Chinese cities, leading the World Health Organization and others to call for a change in tack — calls the ruling Communist Party has angrily rejected.
Associated Press
first published: Nov 25, 2022 04:52 pm