From the evening of September 1, all residents of Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China, are (in principle) required to stay home and not go out. Officials also asserted that “there is no need to hoard subsistence supplies blindly,” but locals who did not believe the official statement rushed to buy food and necessities.
On September 1, the Chengdu Conference for Disease Control and Prevention said that since August 12, there had been more than 20 chains of transmission in Chengdu, with a total of more than 900 cases reported. Because the Chinese government always hides the truth about the pandemic, the outside world is always suspicious of official figures.
On the same day, the Chengdu Epidemic Prevention Command announced that from September 1 to 4, the whole city would conduct nucleic acid testing for all residents; from 6 a.m on September 1, all residents are to stay at home, and non-residents will not be allowed to enter the dormitories. The entry and exit of people in the villages are also strictly controlled, and people coming from other places must report.
Each household can arrange for one person to buy necessities once daily, providing they have a negative nucleic acid certificate within 24 hours.
At the same time, the operating frequency of local buses and subways has been adjusted, and residents must present a negative nucleic acid certificate within 24 hours to ride the subway.
According to Vision Times, although the phrase “city closure” was not used in the official announcement, it was declared closed. According to the official statement, except for the essential enterprises providing water, electricity, public services, and industrial enterprises with closed production conditions, the remaining businesses must work from home.
Except for supermarkets (including farmers’ markets), drugstores, all other businesses, and shops must close. Under this situation, however, Chengdu officials argue that blindly hoarding subsistence supplies is unnecessary.
A video posted by netizens shows that, before two nights of an official announcement asking people not to leave their homes, many workers were on the street welding the isolation fence overnight.
The Epoch Times said that local netizens expressed their displeasure and condemnation: “Who is not afraid of the government denying rumors during the day, and then issuing about welding steel bars in the evening. Honestly, the closure and control in Chenghua district at that time (2020) was scary, since then the authority of the government has lost its credibility.”
Another netizen said,
“The news said that bacon has stabilized, but when more people buy it, the price goes up, I’m afraid it will make the government lose face.”
Ms. Dong, stuck at a hotel on Shiren Nan Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu City, told The Epoch Times on September 1 that everyone was panicking. “We were locked in a hotel and not allowed to go home. People started fighting for food, grabbing things, but the hotel ran out of food, and you can’t get it even if you want it.”
The owner of a butcher shop at the Agricultural Wholesale Market near the Longtan Temple in Chengdu said on the afternoon of September 1 that people had rushed to buy groceries in the past two days, and the prices of meat and vegetables would have to increase because (controlled) transportation costs have increased.
He said that on the afternoon of September 1, the goods were sold out, and in the evening, some shop owners continued to import goods.
The owner of a grain and cooking oil wholesale department at the farmers market also confirmed that many people came to buy. She told reporters: “There are a lot of people at my place right now, so I don’t have time to talk.” She said:” rice was already sold out and still not imported, cooking oil price did not increase, so (we have) a lot to buy.”
On August 31, information appeared that people should stock up on supplies for ten days. The source said that Sichuan officials had informed leaders of central and state-owned enterprises about stocking up on supplies as soon as possible and said that the actual situation was much more serious than what was announced.
According to The Epoch Times, on September 1, another local netizen said: “Those who can buy vegetables should probably thank the ‘rainforest.'”
“Rainforest” is the social media account name of a netizen in Chengdu. This person posted an article on August 29 to alert everyone that the relevant departments are discussing whether to close the city or not, so many netizens have started to go shopping to hoard supplies.
But then, this netizen was arrested by the local police for spreading the news. After detecting many people rushing to buy food, the police charged “Rainforest” with inciting trouble, so he was detained for 15 days and fined 1,000 yuan ($145).
People compete to buy utensils, the supermarket is empty
Before the sudden “city blockade” announcement, there was also information on the internet showing that in Chengdu, people were rushing to buy food, flooding into supermarkets to buy daily necessities, and store shelves in supermarkets were empty.
Manya Koetse, a Dutch blogger who often shares information about China on the internet, retweeted several pictures on Twitter of the locals in Chengdu frantically rushing in to buy food.
The image shows that the markets are crowded with people, and women run out of beauty salons to buy food despite having curly hair rollers in their hair. There are also photos of the trunk of a car crammed with raw meat, an SUV with raw chicken on the roof, and the back of the vehicle filled with cereal. The photos went viral on Twitter.
But according to The Vision Times, many netizens also lament: “I can’t buy anything; I’ll starve to death.” Another said: “I went out of the house to buy only one apple,” “When I went out, I saw all of Chengdu trying to buy food.”
The pandemic also brought many secondary disasters to the Chinese people
A few days ago, on the internet, a video showed people in Chengdu going to get medical treatment but being rejected by a security guard; this made viewers feel sad.
According to the description of the video uploader, on August 29, Chengdu security guards asked citizens to present a nucleic acid certificate within 24 hours, but the patient’s family could not provide it; the two sides later had a conflict, and as a result, the security guard pushed the patient off the stretcher, seeing that the family could only cry helplessly and finally the patient was not taken to the emergency room. Currently, the video has not been confirmed by the authorities.
According to a video shared by netizens, in the Lanxi Digu residential area, a couple went downstairs to take a nucleic acid test and left their young child sleeping in the apartment; when the child woke up, he couldn’t find where his parents were, so he went to the window, then fell from the 10th floor. In the video, his mother can be seen as heartbroken and holding the broken child. Finally, a police car took both of them (away).
In addition to Chengdu, the city of Beijing, where the 20th National Congress is about to be held, also attracts attention.
According to information from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission website, on September 1, there were four more confirmed cases of symptomatic infection and five more asymptomatic infections. The Haitian district has four high-risk areas.
Some residents of the Haitian district revealed to RFA that the Beijing city government is currently very stressed because of the pandemic, and pandemic prevention measures are also gradually being upgraded. This has caused much inconvenience to the lives of local people.
For example, one citizen said that he went to the Beijing Municipal Procuratorate a few days ago, and he had to go through many checks, such as “facial recognition, identification card registration and security checks, show itineraries, verification codes, pledge forms, and register in a registration on the form, and more.”
He said bluntly that the so-called pandemic prevention is actually for the complete control of people. “Now, if there is an epidemic anywhere, don’t expect to move. Now they are using the epidemic to limit individual freedoms.”