Residents of Shanghai are panic buying once again after government workers started erecting fences to lockdown residential districts in its latest battle to contain COVID-19.
Residents of the city were recently freed from a months-long lockdown that was characterized by people screaming from their high rise buildings in protest. The new lockdown of 14 million people comes after just 11 new COVID-19 cases were found outside quarantine centers as Beijing demands mass testing.
Chinese officials also put Beijing on high alert and shut down a number of entertainment venues. Chinese president Xi Jinping promised citizens that the pain would be worth it and promised to “resolutely overcome some of the difficulties” associated with the closures. “Persistence is victory,” he said.
The costs of China’s zero-COVID policy are expected to be measured in losses to its economy, with expectations now low that it will meet growth targets. Shutdowns are expected to also test the global supply chain as key production factories face difficulty keeping up with demand.
Still, Beijing says it will force around 14 million—a little over half of Shanghai’s residents—to quarantine for two days and then be tested for 12 days for any variant of SARS-CoV-2 over the weekend.
High fences were put in place to make sure people comply. Notices received by residents that they are part of the testing sample sent people into a panic. During the last lockdown, many Shanghai residents ran out of food, or faced long waits getting groceries delivered.