Shanghai’s Extended Covid Lockdown Causes Food Shortages

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Shanghai’s Extended Covid Lockdown Causes Food Shortages” – below is their description.

China’s ruling Communist Party issued a rare call imploring rank-and-file members to help contain the coronavirus in Shanghai, a sign of the strain the locked down financial hub of 25 million people is under as its worst outbreak to date spreads.

“We must dare to draw our swords and fight against all kinds of behaviors that interfere with and undermine the overall situation of the fight against the epidemic,” the top party branch in Shanghai wrote to members late Wednesday, the same day the number of new cases in the city rose to more than 19,900.

People across Shanghai have been struggling with food shortages and a lack of medical care in the 10 days since a lockdown started in the eastern half of the city that was later expanded to include the more populous western half. The outbreak has virtually paralyzed one of China’s most populous and recognizable cities, with businesses shuttered and factories of companies like Tesla Inc. halting production because of the curbs.

China’s outbreak is surpassing a level not seen since February 2020, when a one-day correction in the way it tracked cases pushed daily infections past 15,000, largely in Wuhan. The ballooning number in Shanghai, despite the lockdown, underscores the challenge the nation faces in returning to President Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero goal. Jilin province, an automaking and farming hub in the northeast, has been locked down nearly a month, prompting residents to complain on social media about running out of food, cancer medication and baby formula.

The lockdowns virus-containment measures threaten to slow China’s economic growth this year to below the government’s 5.5% target, according to Bloomberg Economics. They also risk further havoc on already stressed global supply chains, with companies from chipmakers to a South Korean noodle maker caught in the fallout.

Some firms, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., and iPhone assembler Pegatron Corp. have kept plants running by having workers live in them and get tested regularly.

There are rising signs of frustration among residents of Shanghai, which is home to top banks, insurers and the biggest stock exchange in the world’s No. 2 economy. Videos of a rare protest in a locked-down housing compound were said to have been deleted from a social media platform by tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., according to Bloomberg News reporting.

The letter from the Communist Party committee in Shanghai hinted at those tensions, urging party members to “take the initiative to speak out against all kinds of noises, especially rumors, to clarify right and wrong, and to unite a strong force to overcome the difficulties together.”

It also appealed to members’ sense of history and patriotism, pointing out that Shanghai was the birthplace of China’s Communist Party.

“Today, we communists in Shanghai must carry forward the founding spirit of the party, and let the party flag stand high on the front line of the fight against the epidemic,” it said.

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