BEIJING (AP) — The manager of the Wushang Mart in Wuhan, the locked-down city at the heart of China’s virus outbreak, says its shelves are loaded with 50% more vegetables and other food than usual to reassure jittery customers.
Communist leaders are trying to keep food flowing to crowded Chinese cities despite anti-disease controls and to quell fears of possible shortages and price spikes following panic buying after most access to Wuhan was cut off Jan. 23.
Employees at the Wushang Mart wear masks and protective suits. Customers wash their hands with disinfectant and are checked for the virus’s telltake fever, said the manager, who would give only her surname, Lu.
“It is normal for people to worry about supply, but we explain there will be enough,” Lu said by phone.
Food stocks in supermarkets ran low shortly after Beijing imposed travel curbs and extended the Lunar New Year holiday to keep factories, offices and other businesses closed and the public at home in an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading.