Beijing residents clear out supermarket shelves amid fears of Shanghai-style food shortages in a lockdown

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A woman stands between nearly empty displays for eggs after they were bought out at a supermarket in Chaoyang District on April 25, 2022 in Beijing, China.
  • Residents in Beijing are clearing supermarket shelves in panic, amid fears of an imminent lockdown.
  • Some are worried they may face a food crisis like in Shanghai, which has been locked down for weeks.
  • On Tuesday, nearly all of Beijing's 21 million residents were ordered to undergo mass Covid tests.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Residents in the Chinese capital of Beijing are clearing supermarket shelves of groceries amid fears that they may soon face Shanghai-style food shortages caused by a possible imminent lockdown. 

The panic began on Monday after 3.5 million residents in Beijing's central Chaoyang district were ordered to undergo three rounds of Covid tests this week amid a spike in local cases, according to The Guardian.

On Tuesday, mass Covid testing requirements were extended to cover nearly all of the city's 21 million residents, stoking fears of a city-wide lockdown, per AFP

Pictures of people joining long queues at supermarkets and hoarding food supplies have been circulating in the news, in scenes reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic.

Shoppers are hoarding food supplies in scenes reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic.

"People are anxious. Everyone is snapping up goods, and we're worried that items might run out," a supermarket customer surnamed Wang told AFP.

Noting that her family has secured enough food to last a week, the 48-year-old added that she was worried "things will become like in Shanghai."

Shanghai, a financial hub home to 26 million residents, has been in a harsh and indefinite lockdown since late March. Unable to leave their homes to buy groceries, hungry residents have complained about running out of food

On Monday, Beijing recorded 32 symptomatic cases and one asymptomatic case — low compared to Shanghai's 1,661 symptomatic cases and 15,319 asymptomatic cases. But officials in the capital say they're hoping to avoid the outbreak getting out of hand, according to AFP

Instant noodles were almost sold out at this Beijing supermarket.

Chinese health officials have stood by what they're calling a "dynamic" "zero-Covid" policy, which has included rapid lockdowns, mass testing, and travel restrictions whenever clusters emerge.

Across the capital, some gyms, tourist sites, and theaters were ordered to close on Tuesday, per Reuters.

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